Saturday, December 17, 2005

Abbie, Doctor of Philosophy

My mother has been teaching the dog to count.

She says, "I teach, it's what I do. I don't care whether it's a dog or not, I'm going to teach it."

Apparently, for the last nine years, my mother has been counting Abbie's muddy paws as she dries them. When I asked whether she did it the same way every time, whether Abbie knew her hind left foot was #3, she said no, and seemed to think that was odd.

Abbie stood there and panted. Outwardly she was saying, "Duhhhhhhh, I'm hungry." But inside that furry little head she was thinking, "I have already extrapolated the existence of the quadratic formula. Now feed me, because I am a genius."

The only thing holding her back now is not having opposable thumbs, but I'm sure she'll take care of that as soon as she maps the canine genome, which is probably her plan for next Tuesday between 3 and 5pm. Until then she will devote her time to deconstructing the Shakespearean canon with an eye toward his treatment of women in Greek myth, and in her spare time she'll fine-tune her artistic style which, until she gets thumbs at least, will likely be reminiscent of Jackson Pollock's.

Any day now we'll come home and find that someone has painted "Four legs good, two legs bad" on the garage door. Inside, we will hear the strains of Abbie fluently speaking multiple languages as she simultaneously disarms the Iraqi insurgency, creates peace in the Middle East, opens a can of whoopass on North Korea, and practises juggling with bowling pins.

So I guess some good can come of this. But I want my collection of Dickens back and no, I will not man the keyboard so she can try to beat my time in Minesweeper.


Adam said...

I'm so impressed with Abbie! Not that her genius is hard to miss- I recognized it the moment I met her. Kindly ask her to schedule me in for coffee at some point. I do miss our chats.

Simon said...

I'll definitely let her know. But it's only fair to warn you she has had very little time for social calls now that she's started her medical residency. (Already many have noted her confidant and comforting bedside manner.)

Katie P. said...

US News must be behind the times. They were still talking about the archaic "pet therapy" where the people brought dogs into the hospital. Is Abbie specializing in surgery? That is definitely the next "big thing" in medicine I think. Surely if a dog can help you by walking with you down the hall, the effects of surgery performed by dogs would be simply amazing. Congrats to Abbie and tell her that I wish her the best.

Simon said...

I shall pass along your kind remarks. Indeed, Abbie is specializing in surgery, though it's only theoretical at this point since her thumb plan has not yet come to fruition. When it does and she's the first golden retriever to perform brain surgery, her publicist is pretty sure she'll be Time Magazine's person/canine of the year, though we're hoping she won't have to share with Bono. She thinks Bono's sunglasses should be chewed to bits and can't understand why the Gateses didn't get right on that. You can take the surgeon out of the animal but you can't take the animal out of the surgeon.

Katie P. said...

Speaking of Bono, I found this article from the onion highly amusing
Rest Of U2 Perfectly Fine With Africans Starving