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I went horseback riding last week and I feel like I should say it was great. There’s nothing better than being close to nature and spending time with one of Earth’s most majestic creatures. In reality, I hated it. I don’t understand why anyone would ride a horse when they could drive a car, ride a bike, or even walk.
I don’t do well with animals, mostly because I don’t know what they’re thinking. I always say that life would be so much easier if animals could talk. Then instead of charging you and barking, a dog could say, “Hey, get away from my yard.” Instead of scratching you, a cat could say, “I’d rather you didn’t pet me right now.” Wouldn’t that be much easier?
My horse’s name was Tango. He was the strong silent type who didn’t really want to listen to anything I had to say. He especially didn’t care to listen to me whenever I said, “Whoa.” I’m sure I was saying it wrong. It’s always the human’s fault, isn’t it?
Tango liked Spanish moss and saw palmetto and was sure to grab a quick snack whenever he passed them. He also seemed to think that I looked like the type of person who liked to ride face first into every low hanging limb on the path. I swear I was picking twigs out of my hair for days.
Here’s a picture of Tango and me. He is eating some Spanish moss, of course. I’m trying not to look terrified. I’m not sure which one of us was happier when the ride was over.
I used to want a pet fox. Then I wanted a pet donkey. My interest in exotic pets has waned recently. Now I just want a dog. I want a dog so badly that I check the Humane Society’s website every night to see who is up for adoption. I want a dog so badly that I talk about dogs all the time. My husband is probably getting sick of it.
Me: I don’t understand why anyone would want a small dog like a chihuahua. They’re just too small. My Husband: I don’t really care about the size of the dog. What’s wrong with a small dog? Me: I don’t know I just think a medium sized dog is much better. What can you do with a small dog? My Husband: Walk it and play with it just like any other dog. Me: … I don’t know a medium sized dog just seems better. My Husband: What makes a medium sized dog better? Me: That’s easy. You see the thing a medium sized dog has going for it is that it’s not a small dog.
For someone who doesn’t have pets I spend quite a bit of my time thinking about them. The other day I was wondering who was smarter cats or dogs. Since no cats or dogs were volunteering to take the IQ test I was administering, I decided to do some intensive research on the subject. Here intensive research is short for poking around the interwebs for about ten minutes.
Anyone whose read Garfield can tell you that cats are definitely smarter than dogs. I was fooled by this extremely realistic cartoon about a cat who eats lasagne too, but my research has found that dogs are indeed smarter than cats. Apparently, being social makes you develop a bigger brain. Who would’ve thunk that?! Upon reading that I got extremely worried about my own intelligence because I’m not exactly social.
When tested a dog will pull a string for a reward, but a cats would rather take a nap. Dogs look at your face to read your emotions, but cats would rather not have to look at your ugly face at all. It’s not that cut and dry though because even though a cat’s brain is smaller compared to body weight it has 300 million neurons in the cortex (the thinking part of the brain). Dogs on the other hand only have 160 million neurons in their cortexes. (I have no idea how to pluralize that word, I wonder if that means my cotrex is lacking neurons.)
My husband who is always so diplomatic says, “It’s impossible to really compare them because they each have a different kind of intelligence.”
Whatever … I want a clear answer to this question. From my extensive research, I’ve come to the conclusion that dogs are definitely smarter. If you are a cat owner and you feel like I’ve insulted your cat by implying that he isn’t as smart as the yappy dog up the road, I’m sorry, but I do have some very good news for you. A 2007 study done by Department of Clinical Veterinary Science at Bristol University found that cat owners on average are smarter than dog owners. They didn’t say anything about people who own a collection of hairy free range spiders, but I’m sure we’re probably the smartest of all.
My husband and I tend to go for walks a lot. You would think that living out in the country would provide us with nicer places to walk. That isn’t exactly true. So far every public footpath that we have attempted to walk on has eventually led to a scene like this:
Yes those are cows in the distance. They’re in the distance because that was as close as I was willing to get. My husband kept insisting that it was fine to walk across that field like the public footpath sign directed, but I swear I saw some bulls in the mix. Bulls are dangerous. I’ve seen the way they charge people on TV. My camera bag is red. That’s like wearing a great big target on my back. Hey, Mr. Bull standing on that hill over there, come stab me in the back with your bull horns and fling me like a rag doll into the air. No thank you.
“But we just pasted a woman who obviously came from this direction,” my husband said.
Some people are willing to flirt with danger. I’m not. I like to keep danger hidden deep inside the junk drawer in my kitchen where it will cut my fingers when I reach in it without looking.
So we turned around and decided to follow the signs for another public footpath. Once on that path we encountered this:
That still makes me feel a bit uneasy, but I was able to deal with it. Mostly sheep just stare at you and if you walk in their direction they get out of the way. I’ve never heard of anyone getting killed by a sheep. But wait, there was that movie I saw not too long ago…
Just a few days ago, some friends were telling me about an interesting camping experience they had. Apparently, a hedge hog got into their tent in the middle of the night and got its head stuck and a bag of dog treats. Everyone at the table was laughing like this was the funniest thing ever, but I was shocked and horrified. I was thinking that I didn’t even know they had hedgehogs in England and that I needed to be a lot more careful when I went for walks in the countryside. I wouldn’t want to be attacked by an angry hedgehog.
It wasn’t until a few days later when I realized my mistake. I thought a hedge hog was this:
I wouldn’t be laughing if I woke up in the middle of the night and found this in my tent with me. I would be running for the hills, and I’d never go camping again.
I was wrong though. A hedgehog is this:
That’s a lot less threatening.
I know the intelligence of the average Nebulous Mooch reader is quite high so you most probably already knew that, but I was home schooled for my first three years of school and I don’t think my mother covered animal names very thoroughly. (If you don’t have anyone else to blame, blame it all on your mother. That usually works.)
About six months ago I decided that when I finally owned my own house I would get some chickens and a goat. This may be shocking to some of you considering my general fear of animals, especially animals that flap, hop or have horizonally slit pupils like the devil.
All of this aside, I thought goats and chickens could be a good addition to our household. We could have free eggs whenever we wanted and I like egg. We could also have free milk for making kefir and yogurt and butter and cheese and whatever else I can make with milk. I even picked out the ideal goat breed. Nigerian dwarf goats would be my goats of choice. They’re suppose to get make enough milk to feed a family and they’re small. I would have two. They would need to keep each other company.
My passion for raising goats has waned recently. Not because I realized I’d have to milk them every day–imagine me milking a goat–or because I’d have to clean up after them, or because they’re smelly and they make that goat noise all the time, but because I tasted some goat yogurt.
I bought some goat yorgurt. I like to try new things. We can eat some yogurt on out exciting Candida diet to try to get some probiotic into our systems. We can also have a moderate amount of grains so the other day I had oatmeal for breakfast. I mixed it with some goat yogurt and blueberries. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t try this at home. It was disgusting. Goats don’t make the same nice tastey yogurt like that cows do. Instead, goat milk makes something similar to goat cheese. Goat cheese is good, but it’s not good in your oatmeal.
Anyway, I’ve had it in for goats ever since they ruined my oatmeal. I’ve decided there will be no goats for me because I just can’t put up with that kind of unpredictability in my dairy products.
I’m still considering chickens. I’ve recently found out that you can tell what color eggs a hen will produce by looking at her earlobes. I didn’t even know chickens had earlobes. Maybe they have lips too.