January 20, 2005

Good But Not Infallible

Before I had a cat, I thought cats were always graceful and accurate. Then I realised how often they slip or scrabble, then walk quickly away with a "I meant to do that" air. Same thing with dogs' noses. Sock can walk within a couple of metres of a cat and not notice it. Her eyes are better at seeing contrast and movement than colour distinction (obviously) and if a cat sees her coming, he will sink down softly and freeze, even right out in the open.

Chances are, if the cat doesn't move, and Sock doesn't almost literally stumble over him, she'll miss him entirely. I guess there is a lot of information to process from a nose at any given moment and a cat or other living thing doesn't smell as strongly as dead things, or human food, or petrol or whatever on the wind.

I got a call from the Epilepsy Assist Dogs association yesterday and they were quite excited to hear about Sock. Apparently she's the ideal age to enter the training program, which takes two years. Because we've already got a strong emotional bond and she's intelligent and obedient, she's an excellent candidate for success, which is fortunate, because just like guide dogs, not every pup will make it as an Assist dog. The trainer will be in Christchurch in the next few months (I gather one trainer has to cover all of NZ and parts of Australia!) and so things will kick off from there.

Posted by phreq at January 20, 2005 04:48 AM | TrackBack

And cats just LOVE knocking things off desks and tables...

Posted by: Dave at January 20, 2005 08:32 AM

Sorry we all missed your call the other night! Actually I was a work, Sok wasn't home and Giffy is away on a road trip at the moment. Just thought I'd leave a message to say Hi! and that I really like hearing about your doggy Sock who sounds sooo cute! and I totally get that whole realising your depressed thing, but still being depressed. It sucks. If you get any pics of Sock or the Puppies I would really like to see them some time. hugs.

Posted by: puggle at January 20, 2005 11:16 AM

Any chance that they could train her for Tsunami early warning monitoring as well?

It would be a huge relief to know we have at least one effective solution and someone in this country will survive.

Posted by: Vincent at January 20, 2005 01:50 PM

I'll send you some pics of Sock dude (hee hee! I love sending ppl pics of my baby!)

The best Tsunami warning system is a bird. If all of a sudden you hear their cry pattern change and they start to fly inland... you might want to do the same.

Land animals take a bit longer to pick up on it but if you see cows and horses (or elephants) fleeing after the birds, try to put down your suicidal human need to think it through and just run!

Posted by: phreq at January 21, 2005 07:58 AM

I will certainly keep one eye out for fleeing elephants.

Posted by: Vincent at January 21, 2005 09:13 AM

well, seeing elephants can be caused by tsunamis, but also whisky. so check the label. If it says Over Proof, that's alcohol. If it says Over Roof, that'll be a tsunami elephant.

Posted by: phreq at January 21, 2005 04:12 PM


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