Monday, March 28, 2005

The Chester-test

I’ve been thinking about experimentation and “proofs” lately and I’m reminded about my Cairn terrier, Chester. Chester has a warped sense-of-humor, and he has a behavior that is 100% reliable and reproducible.

People approach Chester and say something like “What a cute doggie”, and Chester rolls-over on his back, begging to be picked-up. Right when you get him chest-high, Chester cuts-loose with a stream of urine and soaks you. For some reason, he enjoy's people's reaction to his trick.

This empirical experiment is 100% reproducible (Chester is great fun at cocktail parties), and he has never failed once. So, does this prove anything?

Can I conclude from by experiment that all Cairn terriers do this? No. Can I conclude anything at all? Yes.

I can derive the rule-of-thumb that “It may not be a good idea to pick-up a male dog, lying on his back”. This rule-of-thumb is not always true, of course, but it IS VALID, and it has kept me dry on many occasions.


David Aldridge said...

It's the same thing with baby boys, I've found. With all three of mine, when you unwrapped them down below there's something about it that triggers a sudden release, leading to many an unexpected shirt changing/carpet mopping.

Rule-of-thumb: when changing a baby boy, and finding that the diaper is dry after it's been on for more than four hours, DUCK!

bestcatbox said...

Hi Don Burleson, been searching the web, and came accross your site. Looking at latest info on cat litter box. The Chester-test, maybe not the perfect match-but intresting read anyway.. off to look for cat litter box...