You know what’s better than beautiful art? Art with a side of puppy.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mass. just hired a new employee, and he has four-legs, two floppy-ears and a wagging tail.
His name is Riley, and he is a 12-week-old Weimaraner puppy. Nicki Luongo, director of the museum’s protective services department, explained, “Weimaraners are incredibly smart and have a powerful sense of smell.” The museum staff “hired” Riley to help them combat nasty pests which could harm their priceless artwork. He is being trained to sniff out these critters before they become a problem.
As for the pests in question that Riley will sniff out, we aren’t talking about your usual cockroaches or rats. The museum is concerned about pests like moths or other bugs which can hide out in textiles and other pieces and do severe damage to the artwork. Some of these bugs aren’t easy to detect with a human eye until they’re already causing problems.
Thanks to Riley’s highly-evolved sense of smell, he will be able to detect bugs that might otherwise slip by a human’s notice. In doing so, he can help to preserve delicate works of art and save the museum money and hassle.
Before visions of “Night at the Museum” starts dancing in your head, think again. Riley won’t live at the museum full-time, but rather with Luongo. As it should be! Even dogs need to kick back and watch some “Scandal” at the end of a long day.
But here’s the bad news: You won’t get to see Riley prowling the halls alongside other museum-goers. He will work behind-the-scenes, like the highly-trained secret weapon that he is.
Katie Getchell, chief brand officer and deputy director of the Museum of Fine Arts, said that she thinks this is the first time that a dog has been brought into a museum as pest control. If successful, other institutions could start following suit.