26 November 2008

Green Energy? That's not what it sounds like to me

Have I told you about Boss Lady's latest plan for me? She dreamt it up the other night while we were walking. I've gotta tell you, this after work, after dark walking thing just isn't working out for me. All summer long, Boss Lady would take me for walks after work. Most of the time Boss Lady's Mother would accompany us. That's when it stayed light until 9pm. Now, it gets dark at 4pm and Boss Lady's Mother doesn't wait for Boss Lady to get home to take a walk. She walks as soon as she gets home. Which leaves Boss Lady and I to walk by ourselves. Or, more pointedly, it leaves Boss Lady walking with no one to talk to. When she walks with somebody else, they chatter away about this and that. When she walks by herself, by which I mean with me but without another human companion, she thinks to herself. She thinks away about this and that. The this and that are starting to get a little dangerous for me.

The other night it was a little chilly, but not nearly as cold as it has been. Boss Lady got to thinking about deep winter weather; the snow and ice and sometimes impassable snowbanks. She got to thinking about how she's going to get me enough exercise when we can't bike and it's just not possible to cover as many miles on foot. Whenever she gets to thinking about other exercise options for me, she comes back to pulling.

I must have told you about her original pulling idea. She's been playing with this idea for at least a year. She wants me to pull a wagon. Think Radio Flyer wagon. A really big one, though. Because she wants to put two garbage cans in the wagon. She figures I'll pull the wagon around town, and she'll pick up garbage. She needs two cans so she can separate the nickel bottles from the garbage garbage. We could have our own personal Green Up day every couple months. Yeah, that's her grand plan. She's yet to enact it for several reasons. One, none of the pet stores around here seem to have pulling harnesses. Being as Boss Lady's not entirely sure what a pulling harness looks like, or how it should fit, she's not comfortable ordering one online.

So, like I said, she keeps coming back to this pulling idea. And she had herself a light bulb moment on our walk the other night. "Wouldn't it be great," she thought to herself, "if I could figure out a way to create a doggie snow plow. I could make Colyn plow the driveway. We could plow the sidewalk as we walk after those big snow storms. Heck, I could rent him out and make money on his snow plowing." I lost her for a little while as she fell deep in thought engineering this doggie snow plow.

The engineering certainly slowed her down. She's no engineeer; she wouldn't want to be after all the years listening to her father (the mechanic who cleans up the messes made by the engineers) curse idiot engineers. The thing about a snow plow, is that it pushes the snow in front of it. And you've never heard of a dog who pushes. Dogs don't push, they pull. But, you can't put the dog in front of the plow because then the plow will cover the dog with snow. Not to mention the added difficulty of the dog gaining enough purchase to pull in snow that's who knows how deep. Nope, somehow you'd have to figure out a way to have the dog behind the plow.


What if the dog was hitched up to something that he had to pull behind him? And that something behind him, was hitched to something in front of him? So, as he pulls whats behind him, it tranlsates the force to whatever is in front of him, which plows the snow? Yes, that idea has potential.

And, slowly, as our walk progressed, Boss Lady's Dog Powered Snow Plow took shape. In the end she'd decided that it would be a frame-type thing with the dog harnessed up inside the frame. The plow would be on the front. The whole thing would, maybe, be on wheels. She couldn't decide for sure about the wheels. Wheels would probably make it easier to move the plow, but would they get all clogged up with ice and snow and ultimately make it harder to move? Then there would be the question of the kind of plow. Should it be one of those double-angled, V-shaped ones that pushes the snow off to both sides, or should it be one that is angled in either direction and pushes it all to the same side? Probably a V-shaped one would make it easier for the dog, but then it would only be good for plowing sidewalks and walkways. The single angled one would be better for driveways. What about turning around and backing up, though? Aha! Put a plow on both ends, and then attach the harness to the top of frame in such a way that the dog can be easily turned around inside the frame and go in the other direction. Yes, the perfect solution to all of Colyn's winter exercise needs.

By the end of the walk, Boss Lady was all puffed up with pride at the thought of her ingenious invention. She imagined the first snow storm when she'd be able to use the Dog Powered Snow Plow. She imagined the people in the neighborhood coming out of their houses in curiosity to find out what this foolish contraption was. She imagined their loud ooh's and ahh's as she explained how the snow plow worked. She imagined them all exclaiming over her geniusness in creating the machine, and my amazingness in powering it. She imagined plowing all the sidewalks in our neighborhood, and how doing so would supersede the need for the regular sidewalk plow, which wastes gas. Oh, yes, she would win accolades and ride the coattails of the green energy movement.

Green energy? Green power? Are you colorblind woman? This isn't any green energy you're talking about here. You're proposing Black and Tan Power. As a Black and Tan myself, I'm not entirely sure I like it. Besides, who ever heard of a dog powered snow plow?

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