Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Car Conundrum and Dog Data

Amber and I have a problem. At some point in the womb, some of the wires in our brains got crossed, and yes, it happened to both of us. The problem is this: we both love little cars, and big dogs. Our favorite breeds of dogs are Great Danes (clearly), Mastiffs, Rottweilers, Huskies, Malamutes, Boston Terriers (not so big), Newfoundlands, etc. Our favorite breeds of cars are roughly the same size as the dogs we like. Amber has two dream cars: a new mini cooper, and an old mini cooper. My dream cars are old Volkswagens, and of course an old Honda Civic 1200. I think you are starting to see how these preferences could clash with one another.

Needless to say, a large vehicle would be beneficial for transporting Harvard around. Even our Subaru finds him a bit cramped. We have been searching for a vehicle that addresses our love of small cars and need for a spacious cargo area, but only a few seem to be adequate. Our price range puts some restraints on the options as well. Maybe someday we will get a new vehicle though. Who knows?

Since we have been proud dog owners, Amber has been reading a lot about dogs. She has a book called Inside of a Dog that she is loving, we watch dogumentaries, and she likes to read any internet/magazine article that talks about dogs. We thought we would share a few interesting facts about dogs that we have learned over the last nine months, so sit back and get ready to appreciate the K9 even more…

-Dogs experience the world primarily through their noses. The amount of information they can derive from a quick butt-sniff is utterly miraculous.

-They also have the ability to re-scan a room of smells with their noses, as we do with our eyes. When we mere humanoids enter a room with a candle burning, we smell the candle initially, but soon the smell neutralizes to our noses and we no longer smell it. A dog, however, can smell the candle, smell the carpet, smell the people, and then a little later, smell the candle again. It’s sort of the same as us looking at a picture in a room, looking away, and then looking at it again. They see with their noses.

-Most dogs will act crazy after a bath because they are trying to rub themselves on everything to regain their scent.

-A dog’s tail is very important to their communication. When they are walking with their tail up, they are “getting their scent out” for the world to smell. When their tail is between their legs (as when they are scared), they are trying to hide their scent so that whatever they are scared of won’t recognize them later. It’s similar to humans hiding their faces from the paparazzi because they don’t want people to know it’s them.

-In many cases, dogs better understand communication from humans than any other animal, including chimps.

-People that say, “It’s just a dog,” and imply that it is like any other animal doesn’t understand that humans have been domesticating them for centuries, and dogs now rely on humans in a way that no wild animal does.

-There are more dogs than Christians in both Portland and Seattle. This does not, however, take into account the amount of dogs that are Christians.

-It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.

-The typical dog costs an owner $13,350 over the span of its life. This is substantially less than the cost of a child.

I suppose that is enough information for you readers. I hope you enjoyed learning more about “man’s best friend.” In case you are wondering why dogs are considered man’s best friend, lets refer to what Allan Evald told me many moons ago. He said something to the effect of this: dogs are called “man’s best friend” because if you lock your dog and your wife in the trunk of your car for a few hours, only one of them will be happy to see you when you let them out.

*Things you may be wondering about Harvard... He is almost 10 months old. He got neutered today. He weighed 113 pounds before the surgery. He probably weighs slightly less now.

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