Thursday, May 19, 2011

3256 Training a dog at the end of the world

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths.
It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil."
-- Alfred North Whitehead --


I overheard two (both male) neighbors talking on the street this morning. One joked that there was no point in mowing the lawn because "the world is going to end on Saturday".

It turned out neither of them had any idea what it meant, what the actual prediction is. They wondered if it was a meteor headed for earth, or earthquakes and tsunamis, or the sun was going to explode, and so on. One of them did comment that no, it's not this Saturday, it's December 21. The other said he'd heard October something.


They did express a concern that I share - that some fools will figure that since "the world is ending", it doesn't matter what they do, so they'll shoot up their workplace, or rob banks, or whatever.

They didn't mention my major concern - that since it's a "Christian" concept, a few nuclear bombs in Christian areas would be appropriate.


One of those neighbors was walking his dog, a happy young pit bull (yeah, it's that kind of neighborhood), and he was trying to "train" the dog.

I felt so sorry for the dog.

One of the basics of dog training is that you use the dog's name before every command, to get his attention and alert him that a command is coming, use a short distinct word for commands, like "sit", "stay", "come" (or "here"), "heel", and show the dog what you want, rewarding him when he does it.

This guy had the dog on a long spooled leash, letting him run out, and then was yelling "Come here!", "Get over here", "Stop", "Calm down!", without showing the dog what he wanted. Naturally, the dog looked at him, wagged his tail, and kept going, and the guy got mad.

I guess he doesn't understand that dogs don't parse sentences.

1 comment:

rockygrace said...

Last weekend on NPR they interviewed a married couple who had both quit their jobs a year ago and were living on now-dwindling savings, because, well, what's the point of working if they're leaving this mortal coil on Saturday?

I wonder how they'll feel on Sunday morning. Probably they'll be surfing Craigslist looking for jobs.