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: 24

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

Chris Leach replied to Richard Beyer's discussion "The Dangers of Using Spray Foam Insulation"
"The problems will surface soon enough . Why don't we take a second look at this over rated…"
25 minutes ago
Don Fitchett commented on Tom White's video
2 hours ago
Profile IconJean-Paul, Bryan and Erica Sullivan joined Home Energy Pros
4 hours ago
tedkidd replied to Bob Blanchette's discussion How does Cycles Per Hour affect real world AFUE?
"Want to spot a simpleton? It's a guy who thinks EE and comfort are disconnected.  Want…"
4 hours ago
tedkidd commented on Tom White's blog post Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance
"Nice post Tom! I really like how he puts that. Leveraging interests so they can optimize…"
4 hours ago
Kent Mitchell commented on Tom White's blog post Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance
"As a contractor in the region - we frequently wonder how/why you can be a non-profit?  Oregon…"
6 hours ago
Craig Foley posted a status
"Support the SAVE Act. Legislation would add energy costs to underwriting process. NJ article at: http://goo.gl/f57iGC"
6 hours ago
Bud Poll posted a discussion

Basing air exchange on house volume??

I have long objected to including a basement volume when calculating air exchange as it just…See More
6 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service