You may remember my pal, Bentley, the APBT:
Last week the little dickens ate three-quarters of a cotton dish towel, which freaked her mom (and me) out.
I spent a couple of days watching her while her mom was at work. She wasn’t showing any visible signs of distress and was active, so it was a matter of waiting for — hopefully! — the towel to show up at one end or the other.
Days later a big chunk came up the front end (at, like, 3 AM, of course). Some had come out the back end by then, too.
At this point, it looks like things are back to normal, although it’ll be a week or so to be fully certain (there could still be some remaining; who knows).
I hear things seem to be moving along as usual, so it doesn’t appear there is any blockage.
It was a scary week, but things appear to have turned out okay.
(In what I’m sure is related news, the Twins did really well last week against Houston and even beat the Yankees in their own yard yesterday.)
I meant to finish up the configuration space series in April and have moved on to Mandelbrot and Mind topics in May, but I’m off to a slow start. (Doesn’t help that the weather is starting to get nice!)
One thing is certain: No more towels for Bentley!
May 5th, 2019 at 12:59 pm
A good chunk of my time and worry is devoted to pet health issues.
May 5th, 2019 at 1:16 pm
It’s like having infant children that never grow up! I remember how it was with my dog, Sam. (No dog now. I’m being supremely selfish in my retirement; it’s all about me! 😀 )
May 5th, 2019 at 2:00 pm
I’m retired too, with two cats. If I were working, prioritizing time would be difficult; I know I wouldn’t be able to pet them as much.
May 5th, 2019 at 2:40 pm
Yeah, it’s all about the petting. Bentley fascinates me on several levels, things about her are different from any other dog I’ve known, one of which is that she loves being petted. My dogs generally had the attitude that, if I’m going to pet them I can damn well take them out and play with them. Sam only liked petting when she was good and worn out (a very active Lab).
May 5th, 2019 at 5:37 pm
I’m always amazed at what dogs will eat. Some of it has precursors in wolves, who regurgitate food for their cubs. But eating their own waste and inorganic objects doesn’t strike me as adaptive in any context. Their perception of the world seems to often be confused by our artificial environments.
Anyway, hope Bentley continues recovering.
May 5th, 2019 at 5:54 pm
Thanks, yeah, she seems to be doing fine. The main concern is any bits of towel she might have caught somewhere in her intestines.
Her mom had been wiping her hands on the towel while making dinner and happened to have to run an errand immediately after, so food smells were fresh. It’s one of those things that never occurs to you; the towel has been around for months, so it’s totally below the radar.
It all kinda boils down to that dogs are dumb. They’re really good at being dogs, with all that implies, but they sometimes do very counter-survival things. All animals — including humans — do; we don’t always know what’s in our best interests.
We make sophisticated mistakes where you’d think we’d know better, and dogs make dumb mistakes that also make you scratch your head. “You dummy! What were you thinking?”
Towel smelled good, no one was around to stop me, I don’t see the problem?
May 5th, 2019 at 6:51 pm
That makes sense. A food scented towel smelled like a tasty treat. And that’s not something wolves are likely to encounter in the wild.
Definitely, our understanding of the world is in terms that were adaptive in our original ecological niche. Both dogs and humans at times get confused in the artificial world we’ve built.
May 5th, 2019 at 6:58 pm
We’re a very long way from the basic training our evolution gave us, that’s for sure! I’m saying that, even in their “natural” settings, humans and animals aren’t always “wise” — they do dumb things, sometimes things they don’t survive.
May 5th, 2019 at 7:25 pm
Certainly no one’s perfect and all animals can misjudge situations, sometimes fatally. I think of a fox in one nature documentary that got too close to a feeding wolfpack, and became part of the meal.
May 5th, 2019 at 7:32 pm
Yep, exactly. Misjudged distances have killed more than a few animals one way or another!
May 6th, 2019 at 2:50 pm
Poor Bentley. The good news is she didn’t eat a sharp object or a pill. I’ve heard from several people that their dogs eat rocks.
I guess I’m lucky that Geordie doesn’t eat weird things. But he’s older, and who knows what he’s learned the hard way over the years.
May 6th, 2019 at 5:39 pm
And I’ve always thought Geordie sounded a little smarter than most dogs. Have you ever done the test where you put a treat under a towel and see what they do? Highly intelligent dogs lift the towel off the treat. Most dogs just nose at it until they succeed. Apparently the dummies eventually give up. (I’ve never had a dog do other than nose at it.)
Per a previous conversation, walking Bentley has given me a new appreciation for their neighborhood spacial mapping skills. I’m beginning to believe they do have an internal representation that maps to physical reality. I’ve always thought a crucial test was the dog’s ability to perceive a short-cut — either down a road never walked or, say, cutting through a field.
Bentley came into her current neighborhood last August, and then winter, so she’s fairly new to certain parts of the local space. Last week I took her some new places and I was fascinated by how oriented she seemed to be. It really makes me wonder what view of the neighborhood she has.
I’ve been thinking about grid cells and what they seem to imply about how our brains work. Dogs have them, too, of course, which is why I’m thinking maybe they do have a good spacial map of an area.
November 17th, 2022 at 11:40 am
Actually, according to her DNA test, Bentley is a (purebred!) American Bully. I didn’t even know that was a breed. I thought it was a nickname for a Bulldog.