A wonderful tradition on my campus both on the first day before classes and again at graduation is to have a group of kilted bagpipers majestically lead the students ion to campus. I wonder if my school would like to involve a different bagpiper to campus. He would provide a cross-cultural experience, be energizing, engaging, and quite memorable.
Robin the Newf is a guest collaborator tonight. Because of her presence (at my feet) I’ve been ruminating tonight about canine companions. My father-in-law, Walter G. Schmidt, also loved dogs. In fact his love of dogs was extolled in his eulogy given by the Reverend Charles Valenti-Heine:
…”And that world, for Walter, included his beloved Canines. Lucy, Canis, Oaf, Chaucer, Trollope, and Freud, the last named because Walter was told that the companionship of a good dog was of greater worth to people than any other therapy! The one time I remember Walter speaking in church was when Trollope died, and he stood up during joys and concerns to opine: ‘If there is a place in heaven for Presbyterians, then surely there is a place for greyhounds.’
Do dogs match their owners in physical appearance? in personality? There is an interesting body of research dealing with these questions. Here is one citation. Here is another entire article (Download Roy). Under what circumstances does pet ownership reduce stress? increase it? Why in the world did I spend $250 tonight on pet treats? Perhaps I still am affected by my first reading of Argos‘ blind enduring faith. Robin, the patient gentle giant, knows.
These might be questions to give my Introductory Psychology students to encourage them to conduct a scholarly literature review. Perhaps in the process I’ll teach them about Evernote, Diigo, Delicious, Zotero, and Google Scholar and have them help me compare the strengths and weaknesses of these tools in addition to comparing the kinds (and quality) of answers they get using Internet search engines versus library data bases.
Here is some anecdotal evidence provided by one of my playful students that owners like me (though there is a debate between Robin and me as to who is the owner) may start looking like their dogs!
Trivia question from Robin:
What was the name of the Newf who accompanied Lewis and Clark?
Answer is here if you fail to find out—and even if you do.