Saturday, April 08, 2006

My next roommate

I've been thinking that living alone probably isn't good for my long-term mental and physical health. At the same time, if I have another person around I'll wind up having to watch TV shows about hurricanes, heart surgery or something just as bad. Since non-humans usually don't hog the remote, maybe it's time I got a dog.

The only thing is, I can't bear the idea of having to support some freeloader. That's why I've decided I want a dog with a day job who can their own way. That's right, if I'm going to open my house to a canine, it will have to be a working dog.

I understand there are a wide variety to choose from, but most would not be compatible with me for one reason or another. For instance, there are no greyhound tracks near Ottawa, and I am not about to move, so a racing dog is no good.

There may be dogfight pits nearby, but I'm opposed to violence in sports, so a fighting dog is out.

I have tremendous respect for sheep dogs, but I wouldn't want to have to drive out to the country every morning at dawn and then back into town at night (I'm serious about not moving, even to the country-side).

Sharing a house with a police dog would be glamourous. My dog's partner could probably even do the driving. My only concern is that it might involve shiftwork and we'd never get to see each other.

Seeing-Eye dogs and those dogs that help wheelchair people have to live with their clients, so they're out.

He'd have to be a cute cancer-sniffin' doggySo... what dog would work days, and not need a drive to work? A cancer-sniffing dog! Apparently dogs have been trained to detect skin cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. A skin cancer dog would make for fewer innuendoes, but in my experience dogs don't seem to mind people making jokes about them, so I could go with a breast or prostate dog.

Every morning we would walk to a downtown clinic, say our goodbyes and I'd go off to my job, (okay, I don't have a job now, but I will.) At the end of the work day, I'd swing by the clinic and we'd go home. Every two weeks, we cash our pay cheques and have a little blow-out!

Link: Diagnostic Accuracy of Canine Scent Detection of Lung and Breast Cancers in Exhaled Breath


Anonymous said...

Hmm you've given this a great deal of thought...superb analysis, I must say!

zoom said...

I know a dog who has a job visiting kids at CHEO. But it's a volunteer job, so I guess he'd still be a freeloader.

How about a combination cancer & drug sniffing dog? Good way to freak your friends out...

David Scrimshaw said...

Zoom, I like your creative thinking!

Volunteer work can often lead to paid employment. Even if it doesn't, when someone asks me to take on a new volunteer assignment, I can say, "I'm already contributing 40 hours of volunteering a week through my dog."

The drug-sniffing angle also has big possibilities. I'm thinking that even without full training there are excellent practical joke applications.

JuliaR said...

If you want full time volunteer dog stuff, there's always raising a puppy for Guide Dogs. With his little jacket, he gets to go everywhere you do. The big drawback - he's an undisciplined puppy and requires 100% of your attention.

David Scrimshaw said...

Julia, clearly I have failed to communicate some of my fundamental underlying criteria for any project or venture I undertake.

JuliaR said...

No David, you were clear in your objectives. I was just trying to get more readership for my puppy blog. :)

David Scrimshaw said...

Your puppy blog does indeed chronicle a noble endeavour.

And I have to admit that I like the idea of taking an ill-disciplined puppy everywhere I go.

It might even make me want to get on a board of directors again somewhere.