Last year’s birthday ‘cake’ – Prosciutto and stew beef. A traditinal dog birthday favorite.
Eighty pounds, jaws of steel, and tougher than Chinese arithmetic……the Bioweapon Mk I is two years old as of yesterday.
It’s pretty much a standard in most preparedness literature that, at some point, a well-trained dog should be acquired as a bit of a force-multiplier. (We’re still working on the ‘well-trained’ part). One idea is that, since you have to go to sleep sometime, the dog provides an early-warning system if someone or something creeps too close to your slumbering form. There is some merit to this…Nuke obviously has better hearing than me and, since he’s usually laying on the floor or otherwise in close contact with it, can sense the vibrations of people coming to the door. He is more useful at night when we’re out walking. He may stop and stare intently off into the distance and let me know that there’s someone (or something) wandering around the street that I didn’t see.
Unfortunately, he can also be caught unawares….and his lack of situational awareness in some cases leads to him being caught by surprise when someone walks along the sidewalk and comes up behind us. At this point, to validate his existence, he starts lunging and barking. Always an exciting moment. But he’s getting better at that sort of thing.Still need to get him acclimated to little kids. He hasn’t quite figured out if they are simply miniature humans or prey.
Is he an asset, from a preparedness standpoint? I’d say it’s pretty neutral. There’s nothing he does that cannot be replicated through technology or gear…early warning, seismic intrusion, intimidation, night vision, etc. On the other hand, he does provide all these features into a fairly compact form that requires only moderate upkeep. The major drawback, of course, is the unreliable nature of his willingness to do what he’s told. Again…a work in progress. So far we’ve pretty much got a handle on sit, go (as in ‘you can range ahead of us if you want’), stay, come, down, and up (either stand up or jump up onto an object). All commands come with matching hand motions. What I should have done when I started this was incorporating whistles into the commands as well so I’d have three options – voice, hands and whistles.
Probably his most useful function is as an early warning detection system against visitors. That may not sound terribly exciting or dramatic, but it is probably the most practical and useful feature he offers. I can take a nap with the doors unlocked and the windows open and not worry about waking up to find some stranger standing over me with a baseball bat.Passively, he probably promotes people keeping their distance from us when we’re out and about.
So today he is two years old. We’ll go pick him up a big bunch of meat scraps and give him a nice dinner. No gifts, though…he’s spoiled enough already.