The Barley Equation

Herein I propose an empirically derived equation to describe the force of attraction between two leashed dogs that desperately want to go sniff each other.

Barley Equation

The units match, so at least it has that much going for it. This equation captures the concept that a dog’s desire to go sniff another dog while out on a walk is highest if the dogs pass very close to each other, but is less if the dogs merely see each other from a block away. Unlike, say, the force of gravity, this equation is not symmetric — one dog can experience more attractive force than the other if it is a higher energy breed.

The ground state energy e is a function of a dog’s breed and individual temperament, so it must be determined empirically for each individual dog (although breed-specific reference tables could be used for more general cases). In my particular dog’s case, this value is very low because he is old and lazy.

The┬ávisibility v is a percent visibility that accounts for factors such as fog or intervening cars, trees, or buildings that partially or fully obstruct the dogs’ view of each other. Notice that in the case of 0% visibility (i.e. the dogs can’t see each other at all), F drops to zero. This agrees well with empirical observation.

And, of course, it’s called the Barley Equation because if I ever got to name an equation, I’d most certainly rather name it after my dog than after myself.

Posted in Dog

How my dog learned to stop worrying and love the antibiotics


How my dog learned to stop worrying and love the antibiotics

Dogs don’t want to take pills. Sometimes I really need my dog to take pills, like the bottle of antibiotics we’ve been working our way through for the past two weeks. This juxtaposition of opposing wills has been the source of frustration, and eventually an amazingly effective solution I’m calling the Meat Torpedo.

First attempt: pill pockets. My dog KNOWS what pill pockets are for, and he is NOT okay with it. He formed this association immediately, the first time I tried to use them. As soon as I pull out the bag he gets suspicious. If I give him an empty one, he has to tear it apart to investigate it before eating it. If I actually try putting a pill inside the pill pocket, he carefully dismantles it with his tongue in about 2 seconds and spits out the pill before eating the good bits.

Pill feeding method #2 is to shove the pill down the dog’s throat with your finger and hold his head up in the air so he can’t spit it back out until it finally goes down. This technique is effective, I guess, but unpleasant for everyone involved. Not recommended.

Instead, I’ve discovered that I can make irresistable treats that make my dog gulp down a horse-sized pill like it’s not even there. It goes like this:

Lay out a piece of deli-sliced meat on a plate. Spread a line of peanut butter down the middle. Stick the pill into the peanut butter on one side, then roll it up like a burrito. Divide the peanut-pill-meat-burrito into thirds, and feed them to the dog so that the pill is in portion #3. He gets so excited eating #1 and #2 that when #3 comes around, it’s down the hatch before he even notices the pill.

Believe it or not, my dog loves these things so much he gets excited and comes running when I shake the bottle of pills. Too cute.