Rainy Days and Mondays

Monday, January 17th, 2011 | Blog

It’s raining, which does nothing to dampen Diamond’s enthusiasm for a new day. Forget about staying dry, she looks at puddles as tiny swimming holes, and she loves water everywhere but in the bathtub. If the puddle is large enough she will lay down in it with a huge grin. It makes me laugh and smile. Simple joy. Swimming drops falling from the sky.

Once inside she leaves footprints on the floor. I quickly take a marker and trace an image of one before it dries. Capturing a moment and adding a tattoo to our old wood floors. Now there is a reminder of this morning and the delight of a dog and her person.

She stands and shakes, which reminds me of an article I read about how scientists revealed how fast dogs much shake to dry off their fur. If you’ve ever seen a dog trying to shake itself dry after taking a plunge into water, or perhaps while standing next to the person who just gave it a bath, you’ve probably noticed that the technique can throw off an amazing amount of water.

Andrew Dickerson, a graduate student at Georgia Tech says that is all part of nature’s design. He studied how fast different animals oscillate their bodies to shed water droplets.

Researchers found that both bears and dogs shake off at a similar speed. And it turns out the smaller the animal, the faster that it needs to shake to dry.

This work may have real-world applications in improving the design of washing machines.

I wouldn’t recommend a human try to duplicate the shake off, which is, by many rights a dog’s trick. Diamond is barely damp now, sleeping on the settee next to me, her paw print etched on the floor, and a prediction for showers all day.

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"Instead of "rain, rain, go away" I like "rain, rain, come and play"!"
— Diamond —

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