Saturday 6 June 2015

Walking On The Left

Buster and I have an agreement when we walk. He takes the right side and I walk on the left. I know that traditionally the master is on the right and his servant is on the left…hey! That just may have to change.

Buster likes to walk on the sidewalk and I prefer to walk on grass. I just feel that bare ground and grass has more give and is better for your feet. I think Buster likes the sidewalk because it is rarely wet (he hates to get his feet wet) and by walking on concrete he gets his nails trimmed naturally. He isn’t a big fan of peticures.
 Image result for dogs nails
 I was thinking about this and toenails in general when we were out walking this morning. Buster uses his toenails for any number of things, he grips the car seat when I take a corner to fast, he will use them to break up the earth when is digging in my garden. He shouldn’t be digging in the damned garden, but he does just the same. Of course he uses his nails to scratch those itches we all have from time to time and every now and then he will hold down a bone that wants to move when he wants it to stay still. That last one was some primeval survival trait passed down from his distant ancestors.

By comparison, my toenails and fingernails are pretty much useless things. I use a seat belt when I’m in any car to stay in place and I find a shovel or rake is the proper tool for digging in the garden. My nails are short and more or less useless when it comes to scratching, so I use a convenient corner or a tree if possible. I have never been keen on eating bones, preferring to eat the meat that is attached to those bones. That was a primeval survival trait passed down from my distant ancestors.
 Image result for manicure
My mom had beautiful nails, always perfectly shaped and coloured. They were long and strong and she could use them as a prying tool or if something needed to be pierced. Those nails could pick price tags off of gifts and I suspect that she could use them if needed to flip hot things cooking on the stove. My dad on the other hand had pretty useless nails. It was his own fault really, he tended to chew them or pick at them until they would bleed. I’m not sure why, but sometimes I figure if it was good enough for my dad, it is good enough for me. I drew the genetic short straw and got dad’s weak and useless nails.

I don’t really understand why we have nails at all. What evolutionary benefit are nails? 99.999 percent of our bodies are covered with regenerating skin that is pliable and sensitive, some covered with hair for protection and warmth and some parts able to develop calluses to protect us from rough and dangerous surfaces. Nails don’t do anything for us. How often has something dropped on a hand or foot and was deflected by the nails? NEVER! I guess they fulfil a function for accessorizing a woman’s outfit, but somehow I doubt that is evolutionarily desirable.
 Image result for hawks talons
If we had evolved from birds that use their talons to capture prey, cats that use claws to climb or horses, cows or any of the hoofed creatures, I could understand that there is this vestigial leftover from a bygone age. However, we are descended from apes who use their arms and feet to grip branches and even their tails to swing out of the way of danger. They also have useless nails of their fingers and toes. It just doesn’t make any sense at all…

Maybe that’s why I end up walking on the left. 

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