One-Eyed Jack ÑÊa sprightly 1 1/2-year-old terrier with, yes, just one eye ÑÊhas a nose for spores, a talent that earns his master, Eric Johnson, an upfront fee of $350 plus $95 an hour.
Jack is a certified canine detective who locates mold spores faster and with greater accuracy, his owner claims, than more traditional mold-detection methods that can cost upward of $2,500. Mold can cause problems for people with allergies and can even compromise building structures.
Johnson bought Jack in Florida when he was attending a mold-detection seminar earlier this year. The intrepid little dog, who was born with a deformed eye that eventually was removed, had been rescued from the Pinellas County (Fla.) humane society's kennels where he was about to be euthanized.
The reprieve came courtesy of a dog trainer who specializes in teaching canine mold detectives their trade.
'This technology has been successfully used in Europe for more than 20 years,' said Johnson, 51, owner of Common Scents Inspections of
Camas, Wash. Jack has given his business 'a better niche in the market,' Johnson says.
ÑÊDaniel J. Curran