Man’s Best (and Most Energy Efficient?) Friend


My cousin Mark is a pretty smart guy who reads widely. (All my cousins are above average.) Here is what Mark sent to me in an e-mail about dogs:


Professor Temple Grandin says that dogs are genetic wolves that have co-evolved with humans for 100,000 years, maybe more. Hence dogs and humans have complementary advantages and deficits. Humans used to have a better sense of hearing and smell, now dogs are better than us at those. Humans walk upright and have better vision and organizational skills, so dogs depend on us to see things and try to find them. Both are social creatures. So the lesson is that Nature has bundled the hardware and software for these skills and abilities between the two species. Unbundling them carries certain risks, so you should try to live with a dog if you can.


I agree that dogs and humans are a pretty good combination. We’ve had a dog for about two years now. Cooper is a medium-sized Labradoodle, which is a Lab and Poodle mix. He’s a great dog and we love him a lot. He’s heartbreakingly cute and cuddly. He has a Lab’s great disposition and a Poodle’s smarts. We think he’s the best dog ever.

But, along with being a good partner, is Cooper an energy efficient addition to our household? Are pets, and dogs in particular, a step in the right direction in the battle against global warming and the fight for energy security? Is Underdog more than a cartoon?

I think “bundling” ourselves with animals is a good idea for lots of reasons, but here is why I think dogs are energy efficient:

1.) Dogs add warmth in the winter and stay outside most of the time in the summer, so they don’t add much to a house’s cooling load.


2.) Dogs add fur in the winter and cool themselves using their tongues. Try that, humans!


3.) When he has nothing to do, Cooper lays down flat as a pancake and barely moves, thereby conserving energy.


4.) Dogs are great alarm systems and don’t even need batteries.


5.) Dogs eat stuff that humans throw away. They will clean your plates if you let them, saving water and energy.


6.) Because dogs need to be walked, they cause their owners to exercise, reducing their owners’ appetite and therefore their food intake (that’s how it’s supposed to work).


7.) Dogs give you unconditional love and so you don’t have to drive your car to visit family and friends.


Anybody want to weigh in on cats?

Views: 23

Tags: Grandin, Temple, dogs, efficiency, energy

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Hal Skinner replied to Richard Beyer's discussion Spontaneous Combustion and Flash Fire regarding Spray Foam Insulation
"Richard, here is something else that might be pertinent. In my hundreds of conversations with our…"
2 hours ago
Trip posted a discussion

Starting a Home Weatherization Business. Considering it...

I am considering starting a home weatherization business. (I live in Southeast Alabama)  Currently…See More
3 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post My Energy Upgrade California—The Numbers Are In
"To all, one thing I don't lack is advice from the experts! Thanks for the input, challenges,…"
4 hours ago
tedkidd commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post My Energy Upgrade California—The Numbers Are In
"Jim, I'm glad you are open, that's great!  We all learn best when we are open! The…"
4 hours ago
David Eakin commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post My Energy Upgrade California—The Numbers Are In
"Jim, Well, as the editor of Home Energy you should already know that the order of remediation is…"
4 hours ago
Greg Labbe posted a blog post

Technical Tape Desecration

Lets face it – building science is pushing the performance of adhesive tapes to a new levels and…See More
6 hours ago
Stacy Hunt posted an event

High Performance Enclosure Strategies: Part II, New Construction at Online

August 13, 2014 from 1pm to 2:30pm
Please join the Building America Program for our free webinar: High Performance Enclosure…See More
8 hours ago
Richard Beyer replied to Howard Katzman's discussion UV lights on filters
"Howard, There are numerous manufacturer's who swear these systems work and then you have the…"
16 hours ago
Christopher Morin posted a blog post

How do You Test a TXV?

  Thermostatic Expansion Valves (TEV or TXV), one of the most popular metering devices for…See More
20 hours ago
Howard Katzman posted a discussion

UV lights on filters

I recently saw UV bulb installations in 2 HVAC systems in a home. Each system had the Lennox…See More
22 hours ago
Don Fitchett joined Michael Stuart's group
Thumbnail

INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY USERS

This group is dedicated to knowledge sharing and discussion of infrared thermography for building…See More
22 hours ago
Don Fitchett commented on Diane Chojnowski's group Pinterest
"While most of our (BIN95.com) energy post and boards are industrial related, there are crossovers…"
22 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service