Tag Archives: Dog

If Cats and Dogs Could Vote, Which Party Would They Vote For?

The other day I was playing with my dog and I said something about moving ‘to the left.’ Naturally, my wife recalled the Beyoncé song, “To The Left.” However, since I spend a lot of time watching and thinking about politics, my first thought was that our dog was moving “to the left” — politically. That then made me think, if cats and dogs could vote, who would they vote for?

Now, we can quickly descend into a discussion about animals’ ability to think, but that’s not where I’d like to go with this. Let’s assume that animals would be “rational actors” and vote in their best interest (regardless of how they may or may not be swayed from charismatic politicians or issue ads). Keeping in mind that this is all meant in jest, let’s begin!

If dogs could vote, who do you think they’d vote for? If I had to choose, I think they’d probably vote for the Democrats (or a Liberal party). Why? Well, let’s look at a dog’s life — they’re really interested in ‘programs’ (take me or a walk, feed me, etc.) where the government (owner) takes care of them. Of the two main political ideologies, who do we think is more likely to offer this?

Okay, now let’s look at cats. If cats could vote, who do you think they’d vote for? If I had to choose, I think they’d probably vote for the Republicans (or a Conservative party). Why? Well, look at a cat’s life — they really say (well, they don’t speak, do they?) and do whatever they want, whenever they want. They’re not interested in coming when you call them and they pretty much take care of themselves. To me, this *sort of* gets to the whole idea of ‘personal responsibility that you hear from politicians/parties on the right.

This experiment was meant in jest, but it’s a great way to exercise your thinking muscles. Can you think other pets and which parties they might prefer? Let us know in the comments!

Tying up Loose Ends: Or, a Mishmash of Ideas in one Post

It’s been awhile since I wrote a post () and even longer since I wrote consecutive posts ( and ). Obviously, I’d like to have written more, but that’s just not how things have worked out. Regardless, I thought it might be a good idea to write a “post of posts” of sorts. That is, I’ve had a list of “ideas to write about” for over a year. Some of the things on the list are recent (thought of in the last few months) and some have been there for at least 9 months. As a way to inject some fresh energy into that list, I thought I’d write a post where I spent some time talking about a number of things on the list — rather than writing a post about just one of those ideas. Hope you enjoy!

It’s Kind of a Funny Story () – I saw this movie awhile back and thought it was rather good. The premise is that a teenager checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward. Some very serious issues are addressed and I think they were done so in an appropriate manner.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never () – This whole list won’t be of movies, but I thought I’d group the two. I saw the “Justin Bieber Movie” sometime this past summer. I didn’t really know too much about Justin Bieber, just that he was pretty famous with the younger age groups. While this movie wasn’t necessarily an unbiased biography, it definitely did showcase how much hard work Justin invested in himself. Hard work (by itself) will not get you where you want to go all the time (for example: ), but it will go a long way to getting you where you want to be.

What if the car (automobile) were invented today? – I wonder if the car were invented today, would we accept it as is? Meaning, given everything that goes into making the car and everything that is affected because of the car (read: environment), I wonder if consumers would accept it as a product.

Nordic spas – This past summer, just before moving to DC, I spent some time at in Quebec. It was the first time that I’d seen the idea of (hot, cold, hot) in an establishment. Growing up in Canada, it was a common thing — in the winter — to sit in the hot tub for awhile, jump in the pool for a minute (or the snow!) and then get back into the hot tub. I remember trying to find some scientific evidence to back this up as a (positive) thing for the human body, but I couldn’t find anything. That’s not to say that there isn’t any out there.

Blowing in a dog’s face – I find it interesting that dog’s don’t like it when someone blows in their face — but — they can’t wait to stick their head out the window when you’re driving down the road. I wonder if this has something to do with carbon dioxide (on the exhale of someone blowing in their face) vs. oxygen (from the car ride).

Jaywalking – Intuitively, I would think that laws against jaywalking would have been written with a focus on keeping pedestrians safe. Believe it or not — this was not the case. I forgot where I heard it (maybe NPR?), but did you know that jaywalking was — in a way — instituted because of the automobile associations lobbying legislators? In doing some research for this (part) of this post, I found from three days ago talking about this very thing.

Visioning for a job? – Have you ever noticed how couples plan for a baby? Even before they’ve conceived, (sometimes) they’ve bought the crib, painted the room, and are in a sense, planning for this new part of their lives. I wonder why this is normalized, but doing the same thing for a job is viewed with some disdain. Why shouldn’t someone wake up and get dressed as if they’re going to work (even though they may not be)? They could even go to the “office” (library?) and prepare themselves for work.

Secret to happiness – Short and sweet. The secret to happiness is not wishing things were different from they currently are.

Evolution of the electric car – I wonder if there’s a special (or one in the works?) on the evolution of the electric car. I remember reading that the electric car was first invented in the 19th century, but fell out of favor when the internal combustion engine was invented (see: ).

People’s relationships to their body – It’s interesting to see how people relate to their body (in general) in comparison to how they relate to their body at a place where the body can sometimes be more prominent (at the gym or the beach).

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That’s narrowed down my list to four! Three of those are “recurring posts” (, , and personality tests). There is one post that I do want to dedicate some time to, so I didn’t want to shorten it here. Look for it in the next little while.

Pets Are So Much More Than Just “Pets”

dog standing, dog, smiling, happy, joy, joyfulThe value of having pets far outweighs any of the negatives associated with having a pet. Humans and animals have coexisted for quite some time. Beyond the time of when humans (hunted) animals, someone must have decided that it was going to be a good idea to make one of those animals part of their family. In doing so, the idea of “owning” pets and animals was born. While I understand the word “own” and contextually it might be easier to use this word, but do you really think you own your pet?

Yes, with certain animals, convention tells us that we need to ‘train’ our animals to respond to our commands. And yes, I will admit, I issue commands that I expect my dog to follow, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think there is a better way to do it. Let’s take a look at the language piece of this, first.

According to the [emphasis added]:

  • There are approximately 77.5 million owned dogs
  • Thirty-nine percent of households own at least one dog
  • There are approximately 93.6 million owned cats
  • Thirty-three percent of households own at least one cat

Using these statistics, it is accurate to say that 1 in 3 households has a pet (and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that 1 in 2 households has a pet). Notice that when I referred to these statistics, I said has a pet rather than owns a pet. About 10 years ago, there was an interesting movement in Boulder, Colorado, that advocated the In its place, guardianship. Humans are the ‘guardian’ of their pet, rather than the owner of their pet. This quickly picked up steam and similar in the following year. As of April of this year, “

As I’ve written about before, . In the near future, I will do a post about how our words can affect others (which will cat, cat sleeping, cuddly cat, cute cat, tabby cat, playfulbe more relevant to this post). The subtle difference between ownership and guardianship may really be enough to change the attitude of the “owner” such that they care just a little bit more for their animals. I’d like to think so.

Beyond the ownership vs. guardianship debate, having a pet can prove wonders to the health of the ‘carers.’ There have been scientific studies done (and many books written) on the topic of the many positive benefits to having a pet (a sampling:  and ). Two more things I want to touch on before I wrap this post up. The first has to do with animals and their consciousness and the second has to do with animals and our workspace.

I think one of the main draws to having an animal around is the pure joy that can be seen in them. That is, animals do not hold grudges, they’re not vindictive, they’re ever-present to the moment at handI think that part of their infinite joy stems from their lack of ‘stuff.’ As humans, we have lots of ‘stuff’ that we deal with. We have our stress from work, stress from news, stress from family, stress from kids, stress from friends, stress, stress, stress! Animals — none of it. They live for the moment they are in. When your dog whines at the door, it’s moment-specific. S/he wants to go out and play (or relieve themselves). They’re not thinking three steps ahead that when you let them out, they can run around the tree, sniff over by the bush, and then drink some water. It’s specifically in that moment that they want to go out. I think that because of this, they are much closer to a state of pure joy, more often. When I look at animals, I can feel this warming sensation in my heart. I think this is from that infinite joy they have that my heart is connecting with.

The second thing I wanted to talk about is actually quite practical. Did you ever notice being at your computer that your cat may come and sit on your keyboard or distract away from your monitor? Or maybe as you were moving your mouse to click on something, your dog came and pushed your hand off the mouse with your snout? It is my belief that our animals do this as a service to us. That’s right, a service. They can see the “bigger picture” around us and can tell that we’re in some sort of funk with what we’re doing at the computer and that we may need a break. Or, maybe that specific time that we were spending working on that project or idea would be better done at a later date. The next time your dog/cat (or salamander!) disrupts your computer time, think twice before you push ’em away.