If you don't have a dog, kidnap someone else's and bring that dog down to hunt in Oregon, just for the weekend of January 29-30th. Hunt truffles, that is. Black and white gold. French umami. Foodie crack. The truffle dog training seminar happening during the Oregon Truffle Festival is sold out (only 12 dogs were allowed), but you can still sign up for dogless instruction. You'll learn some of the methods of scent training and witness professional truffle dogs in action ($275 for Friday, January 29th, scroll to the bottom). Then you can try your dumb luck with the pooch in the field independently, if you can rustle some prime coordinates out of one of the festival attendees. By rudimentary calculations, you need only find 10 ounces or so of truffles to pay off that education. Better take good notes. (photo courtesy David Monniaux)
Fun fact: Seminar instructor Jim Sanford works his truffle dogs (NSFC, not suitable for curmudgeons) out of Tennessee. Did you know Tennessee has truffle farms? They have elephants, too. That makes it dang-right exotic. Look out, Provence... And sorry Oregon, proximity notwithstanding, "Tennessee Truffle" just sounds cooler.