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Adaptation: Dogs have this trainer beat!

February 2, 2009

“Adaptations are structures or behaviors that enhance a specific function, causing organisms to become better at surviving and reproducing. They are produced by a combination of the continuous production of small, random changes in traits, followed by natural selection of the variants best-suited for their environment” - from the works of Charles Darwin. 

Okay, so it’s another heat spell here in Ventura – at least by my standards. Hot and dry! I swear, California is now the new Arizona! One reason I relocated to Ventura was because of the fog and cool beach weather that seemed to exist most of the year…sure a few hot days in the summertime, but not for more than three days at a times… I’m not a big fan of the heat – and it seems that the “hot and dry” is now the norm. Ugh! I thought it was a phase…but I guess it’s more about global warming…?
Adaptation, schmadaptation! I say to Chuck: FORGET IT! This animal is not motivated to adapt to the heat… Maybe it’s because of my genetics (family heritage is irish/russian – talk about cooler weather)… And since I’m not passing my genetics along there might not be a reason for me to adapt or become more “fit”. And hey, you lived in the UK! Where it rarely gets above the mid-70′s! I could easily adapt to that! 
Anyway, why do I bring this up? Besides wanting to complain about the heat? Think about how our inquisitive canine friends have had to adapt. Not just domestication, but going from one home to another… sometimes more than one home. Sure there is a settling in period, but that usually lasts a few weeks to a few months… unlike me adapting to the heat – uh, never? 
Some of my great students in my manners classes and privates have new dogs in their lives… some from breeders, some from shelters…In either case, both humans and dogs will need to adapt to their new relationship and new living situation. And I’m sure they’ll be able to do it much faster than I will ever be able to adapt to the heat! 

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