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Relevant To Your Interests: You and Your Dog Are Both Nerds

So we panic adopted a dog to counteract this veritable dumpster fire of a year. That is what I did with my week. We named her Edith Windsor. Here she is.

While I don’t recommend this course of action for just anyone (it can be really stressful, and expensive, and Edith is a five-month-old puppy so I am very tired right now), my mental health is frickin’ awesome. I basically have to interrupt my work day (or my social media think piece panic spiral) with a walk. Outside. In the sun.

We thought we were adopting an average dog, one that would need training because she’s a puppy, sure. We knew we were adopting a dog who had no training and would need to work with her. Well in two days she nailed sit, down and focus. She has object permanence and looks up at pigeons. She can solve her puzzle feeder. She is, in short, a brilliant genius Ravenclaw and I would expect nothing less. Turns out, my dog is a nerd too. Is your dog a nerd? If so, the following items might be relevant to your interests.

Attire

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Dinosaur collar, $30. Hook + Albert matching bowties for dog and person, $65. Batman collar, $25.

Play

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Set of four emoji toys, $33. Treat dispensing pencil and steer stick, $16. Flying saucer toy, $9. Dog homework, $8.

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And for dogs who have nerd smarts: Mazee treat puzzle, $21 and the Buster Activity Mat, $69.

Obligatory Lesbian Joke

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Fish taco treats, $6. Fish taco chew toy, $8.

I did name my dog Edie Windsor, after all.

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 543 articles for us.

20 Comments

  1. I have actively been stopping myself from panic adopting a puppy and this really isn’t helping, Ali.

    • I mean, it’s also a ton of work. Does that help? Of course it doesn’t, because it’s so much work and also LOOK AT THAT FACE.

    • Also just think about naming your dog Eleanor Roosevelt when you inevitably panic adopt one K THX

      • I was thinking of naming the dog Rodham, but Eleanor Roosevelt is a strong contender. DAMMIT ALI.

        • Rodham is SUCH a good name, but honestly it might incite too much grief for me personally?

          • Hence why I’m waiting. At least for now…

    • Ugh seriously I almost panic-adopted a dog that I planned to name Elizabeth Bishop and then she got adopted which was probably a blessing in disguise but now I am back in the danger zone

    • Lise

      My dog is a one year old that I did not panic adopt. And she is the best dog, because of course she is… who’s the best dog? Anyway (getting a bit side tracked here) she STILL is a lot of work. So I would not necessarily recommend panic adopting. But ! DOGS ARE THE BEST !! (and cats although I kind of feel like I have to like cats because lesbianism)
      TL,DR: Hurray for dogs !

  2. Thank you Ali, thank you Edie Windsor (the person), thank you Edie Windsor (the dog).

    I’m so glad that you recognize how smart your dog is. Too many people don’t engage with their dog’s intelligence, then the dog becomes bored/destructive and the owners blame the dog instead of training it. *massive eye roll as the child of a dog groomer / dog training WIZARD who has talked about this for twenty years*

  3. My girlfriend and I were positing that if more queer couples were capable of accidentally procreating (I know some are), there would be a baby boom nine months after the election from all of the end of the world sex people had. Instead, of course, this is the reality: everyone panic adopting animals! ? I love Edie’s name. Congratulations, Ali. And I never realized, somehow, that dog puzzles were a thing – going to invest in some of those right away!

    • Oh, yes! There are even sustainably made, 100% natural materials, part-recycled dog puzzles. They’ve been on the market for ages. My parents bought my elder dog one 10 years ago that’s made from several wood circles with drilled pockets for treats, stacked on top of each other, topped by a lid with two holes and screwed together loosely. The dog has to spin the top layer to align the holes in the lid with the treat pockets. Then they have to align the top hole with a hole in the second layer to get to the treats on the third spinning layer.

  4. Oh gggoooooddd! Don’t mind me, just gonna spam-like all of your Edith IG pics.. ?

  5. cleo

    Puppppppies!!

    I’ve been craving a kitten lately and hadn’t made the obvious connection.

    We had to put down our beloved 17 y.o. cat the Friday after the election. I know I’m not really ready to adopt another animal just yet, but I notice that I’m spending A LOT more time with my remaining cat. (Who very obligingly denies the ball when I toss it to her, until she gets bored and lets it bounce off her nose).

    I keep thinking that maybe we should get a kitten to keep her company, once we’re not grieving (as much). But I know the kitten would just be for me.

    • I’ve never wanted to actually eat a being’s ears as badly as I want to eat Edith’s.

  6. What a coincidence, I also just got a puppy about two weeks ago (although it was not in a panic, I’ve been planning on it for a few months now, she just happened to show up now!). She’s brought so much light into my life- and a lot of craziness, but mostly adorableness and snuggles!
    (Also she’s definitely a nerd too – I named her Abby after the Ghostbusters character, obvs)
    I’d upload a picture but I’m not quite sure how so just imagine a very cute almost-20-week-old golden retriever lab mix puppy here..

  7. Abelle

    Oh my GOD, Edie is SO CUTE??? Those EARS.

    Thank you so much for these ideas. My dog is a paper FIEND, so I’m definitely buying him the “homework” toy.

    Question/advice wanted from any other pup parents out there: Does anyone know of some DURABLE puzzle toys? My Flynn is a 45 pound hound/pit mix who has jaws of steel. He’s a smart little dude, so I’ve been trying to find toys to help keep him engaged. I bought him a wooden puzzle toy, but the very first time he used it, he basically ripped it apart (and exposed some staples holding it together, YIKES).

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