Jun 232009

Is it possible to see this photo and not imagine the thought bubbles?


Thanks to Ethaney for the photo.  Hopefully she’ll let me steal more of her photos in the near future…

May 032009

on the lookoutAre usually met with disappointment.

Sal and I were watching a lame dog hiding and some cat jump in a box, or some monkeys water skiing or a cat sneaking up on another cat…when an ad came on.  Usually, I watch ads and Catherine ignores them, but I guess that’s on TV. On the internet, our roles are reversed and I had no idea what the ad was for and Catherine wanted more details.

Purina’s Dog IQ Test.

Cute video and it helped show me how dumb some dogs can be.  But everyone’s still happy.  I like their scoring system, where if you’re at about a C or D range for the test, they call it “Your dog must be real cute.” Applies to more than dogs I hear.

Anyway, post education of the test, I was pretty confident that Chapo would ace it.  Though he took a while on the first one, surprisingly, and I started to get worried.  Nailed the rest of them though.  Well, I rationalized the “name” calling one.  You’re supposed to check to see that the dog recognizes his name and not just your excited, eager tone of voice (which they key on more than one thinks).  And seeing one dog lumber over after “refrigerator” was called out all excited and with enthusiasm was kind of funny.

Still, I didn’t think Chapo would have any problems with it, cause it was something we had learned/worked on a while back.  So I put him across the room, told him to stay, moved away, and then excitedly called out “refrigerator!”  Chapo didn’t flinch.   Called out “movies”.  Nothing.  Then called out his name.  He tilted his head at me.  I repeated it, knowing that we were going to get docked a point on the IQ test because of that.  Still nothing.

I was a bit disappointed, then rationalized that there was still one way to gracefully recover from this, since I did tell him to stay.  “Come!”

He gets full credit.

May 292008

C: Sal – what are you doing?
S: Not poking Chapo in the eye.
C: Ha. Okay. Well, then what were you doing?
S: [Long pause.] Nothing.
C: Sal, you can tell me what you were doing.
S: [Medium pause.] Sorry Chapo.

Update: For clarification – it looked like Sal was definitely trying to poke Chapo in the eye. And his attempt at disguising what he was doing was simply prefixing what he was doing with a “not” – as the should surely hide his true intentions.  In the end, I couldn’t get him to confess, but I did reassure him that I still loved him and that he could always tell me what’s on his mind.

Dec 292006

Now, I’m not really sure what that means, except that it’s tuned for the “action” shots needed with pets and kids. This photo seems to have come out alright. As Sal was using his Jedi abilities to break Chapo’s neck. Or maybe he thought he was the Hiro dude from Heroes and he was time travelling. Or maybe he was just having a moment.

Mar 222006

I heard a conversation on news radio yesterday with Temple Grandin – who they said was probably the most famous autistic person. She’s got a PhD. She’s written books. She designs humane slaughterhouses. Oliver Sacks has written her up. And I’ve already ordered her latest book – Animals in Translation.

She thinks in pictures (her first book) and makes the point that animals are probably thinking the same way. That they are like autistic humans because they aren’t as comfortable with a lot of things most humans ignore (Chapo is scared of plastic bags blowing in the wind and when he was little, pipes or tubes really scared him too…I guess I should say, when he was younger) The connection also extends around the fact that they have heightened senses in some ways – like dogs being scent specialists.

I really enjoyed The Other End of the Leash. And I’m looking forward to this book. Sure, partially because it might help my relationship with Chapo. But also, cause Ifigure Salvador is at some strange stage, where his mind is working on something – but not quite linguistics yet. He’s gotta move from whatever kinds of thoughts he’s having now to more language based ones. I think maybe this book might lend insights into that process too.

Plus, it just seems wild to try and imagine the world through different eyes (I believe she says she can see the world through cow eyes and that helps to make the slaughter houses less intimidating?). Books generally let you see the life through another’s eyes. This seems like it goes into another’s brain. I’m excited.

Catherine made fun of me this morning, cause I drew in the air a cartoon biscuit when we were talking about what Chapo might be thinking. I deserved it. We don’t even give him bones shaped like those cartoony dog biscuits. She commented that cartoon images are mostly floating through my mind, not Chapo’s. Yeah – I guess Pamela Anderson qualifies.

So maybe I don’t have to work that hard to “think in pictures”. But it isn’t dampening my excitement for the book. Comes tomorrow. And maybe it’ll help me understand more about my kid, my dog, and me…

And maybe photoshop…I mean, how does one edit thoughts in that paradigm?

Jan 092006

You can make Chapo tilt his head and get all excited by saying those two words. Dog Park. So, now, not to get his hopes up, we refer to the dog park by the park’s name – Las Palmas – when we talk about maybe going.

Went yesterday. Wore Sal on my chest. Catherine went in. I stayed out and made choppy movies. He runs after the ball much faster than he runs back with the ball. He surprises me how fast he looks in the video. People always comment on how he looks fast, but I just say it’s cause he’s little. But watching this movie, it makes him look fast. He has an interesting little scuffle around “ball ownership” near the end…