Sometimes I think about the people that first said common phrases. I mean, the person that first said, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” condemned old dogs to a life of performing only the tricks they had always known, never to have anyone try to teach them something new. Was the person that first said it merely being flippant, having no awareness of the impact his words would have on the lives of dogs around him? Or was he a dog expert, and made his comment after years and years of intense, careful research, and he actually knew for a fact that you cannot, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks? I’ve also wondered if perhaps it was one person at all. Could one person really say something and have it catch on like wildfire, spreading throughout the masses until everyone had heard it at least once in their life? (While we’re on the topic of phrases, I have never understood “catch 22” OR “mutually exclusive”. If anyone could explain these to me, I’d be grateful.)
I thought about this phrase in particular today because I in fact, did learn a new trick. Now I am fast approaching 27, which in human years is not considered old. (It’s not old, it’s not. It’s not. I’m not old.) But then I thought, well in dog years it’s really actually getting up there, in dog years it’s what 27 x 7 is what 189? Don’t judge my math skills. (I’m not certain that’s how the whole dog years thing works, anyway. But my point remains). So I’m somewhere in between 27 and 189, which I think you can now begin to see is old, and I learned a new trick today.
I learned that I can throw a towel, from a sitting position, onto a towel rack from four feet away (don’t worry, I got out a tape measure and measured it. We’re all about accuracy here at the scientist’s house.) And I can get the towel to land on the rack maybe like 2 out of 3 times. (That part of the experiment was a little sketchy, I grant you, I was too lazy to actually count. The point really is that I was pretty good) WOW! 2 out of 3 times, from four feet away, and sitting! How about that?! Are you wondering right now, what possible use is a skill like that? And you’re right, it probably never will save my life, but you don’t know that it won’t.
And if you’re wondering what led to me being in a sitting position four feet from a towel rack long enough to learn this skill, don’t ask. I’d tell you, but then I wouldn’t be able to think of my blog as “family friendly.” So don’t ask. Just be proud of this old dog for learning a new trick.