|Mexican Gray Wolf. Credit: Clark Jim, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, via Wikimedia Commons.|
Bertie Boffin here (your go-to guy for all matters pertaining to canine-relevant science)...
Scanning through a range of blogs on the American Geophysical Union website, a post about particular experiment recently caught my eye.
This experiment involves some Mexican gray wolves held in a 'pre-release facility' prior to being let out into the wild as part of a carefully planned re-introduction programme in New Mexico and Arizona.
To mitigate any stress and boredom the wolves might feel while temporarily held in captivity, a variety of 'enrichment items' have been introduced to their cages, and the aim of the study is too see which ones work best. These items include - now wait for it.....
'Road killed elk carcass', 'bones', and 'buried meat with a blood trail leading to it'.
Now it seems to me that this experiment has clear relevance to us dogs (we do share 98.8% of our DNA with our wolf brethren after all) and I would be more than happy to offer my services to Science as follows:
So Gail goes to work three days per week, leaving me shut up at home alone*, potentially stressed and bored. I suggest we could work it like this with testing the enrichment items:
Tuesdays: road killed elk carcass (or if hard to source in Scotland, red deer would be an acceptable substitute, I guess)
Wednesdays: Bones (miscellaneous, although my preference would be lamb)
Thursdays: Buried meat with a blood trail leading to it (really, I am not fussy at all about the type of meat)
Replication is of course all important in science, and I suggest the experiment be run over a period of ten weeks. If necessary, further iterations, with the items on different days, could be tried too.
I would, of course, write a detailed report explaining in very analytical fashion my levels of satisfaction with the various sources of 'enrichment' at the end of the study.
So how about it Gail?
I can't see any objections. Can you?
*Alone, that is, apart from the dog walker who comes midday, and those afternoons, quite frequent, when I go round to entertain our neighbours Yvonne and Neil.