Look, I didn’t want or need to learn this, but what has been seen can never be unseen and now, this story from this very day in 2014 is going to reside in my brain for ever more.
First and foremost, why do we need to know? Why?
Sure. It’s very interesting and the method they used was wonderful:
Alignment of the body (along the thoracic spine) in direction towards the head (heading) was measured in freely moving dogs (i.e., not on the leash) in “open field” (on meadows, fields, in the wood etc., i.e., unconstrained, and uninfluenced by linear structures, such as walls and fences) away from the road traffic, high voltage power lines, and conspicuous steel constructions during defecation and urination, by a hand-held compass.
…but they never needed to do this study in the first place.
At no point in the future is this going to assist anyone. And don’t come with your “well, what if I’m lost in the Karoo with my beagle?” reasoning, because 1. just use the sun, 2. the research shows that dogs only “prefer” to align themselves to do their thing, and 3. it’s a beagle and won’t obey normal rules (or anything else) anyway.
Additionally, these observations were made under “calm conditions”.
Beagles don’t do “calm”. Beagles only have three modes: sleeping, snorfing or being mental. 95% of their time is spent in mode 1, during which time (you hope) there will be no urination or defecation events. When they are snorfing, they’re too caught up with doing that to worry about magnetoreception and magnetosensitivity. And being mental is not being calm.
But aside from anything else, I’m going to constantly be checking the alignment of my canine during its lavatorial commitments from now on. And that’s just not pleasant for either of us.
Does your dog face North-South when having a shit? Feel very free not to let me know in the comments. Really. Just don’t. Thank you.
Back to school day. Officially. The whole school. No more online stuff (except in very exceptional circumstances). Perspex screens. Masks. Sanitiser. Social distancing at all times.
But school – or at least as close an approximation as they can make of it.
Now wash your hands.
The house is so quiet. The kids would normally be working anyway, but it’s still eerie. The beagle is confused and keeps checking to see if there is anyone around the corner doing their Geography or Maths, and then weeping when there isn’t.
Because they’re not there. And thus, the beagle has required several (or more) beagle biscuits in order to quell its repeated concern. The beagle is now sleeping next to me as I type this, but I’m fairly sure that we will be doing the search/cry/biscuit routine again shortly.
I have a feeling that the kids will be knackered when they come home this afternoon. It’s not that they haven’t been working hard at home for the last six months; just that Real School is going to be much more physically taxing than online home school.
The good news for them – us, everyone – is that we’re just 9 weeks away from the start of a much needed summer holiday. Of course, we don’t really know what we’ll be facing by that time Covid-wise, economically or socially, but at least it’s something positive (like a ray of hope, not like a disappointing diagnostic test result) to aim for.
Right now, I need to go and collect the first child and see how the day went. Fingers crossed for a good experience.
Some gentlemen came and removed all the grass from our back garden today. Gentlemen have been coming around our neighbourhood and removing things quite regularly at the moment, but in this case, it was ok: I did ask them to. These were nice gentlemen.
To be absolutely accurate, there wasn’t very much grass left amongst the plethora of weeds which had taken over after the drought and had successfully outcompeted the lawn ever since.
I know that having a lawn (ironically) isn’t the greenest decision that one can make, but it looks good and is far more conducive to getting the kids outside a bit more than gravel, thorny weeds and succulents. (Incidentally, I’m also aware that having kids isn’t the greenest decision that one can make, but I promise that I won’t have any more. Also, eating fillet steak isn’t the greenest decision that one can make, and certainly I’m not stopping that any time soon. I will, however, continue to religiously recycle. I remain confident that my place in Heaven is assured.)
Long story short, the nice gentlemen are planning to come back and replace the old grass (weeds) with some nice new grass (grass) tomorrow. The beagle (yeah, yeah… having one of which is not the greenest decision etc etc.) will be delighted to have its regular stalking ground back. It’s quite confused about why everything has gone brown and soily outside. Beagles like stability in their lives. And grass.
Hopefully, tomorrow marks the start of a successful, new, picture perfect back garden for the summer and beyond. I’m looking forward to it.