March 9, 2010

The Amherst Club

March 9, 2010

Lunch Notes

Do you like dogs?  Or perhaps the question should be, if you liked dogs when you came to the meeting today did you like them quite as much when you left?  Professor Ray Coppinger, a behavioral biologist at Hampshire College, may or may not like dogs, but he has their number.  And that number is 400 million - the number of dogs in the world.  And of that number,  pets constitute a miniscule portion.  In the United States, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year; between forty and seventy thousand die of rabies due to dog bites.

Excluding dogs who are bred as pets, most dogs look alike - a testimony to natural selection.  At the Mexico City dump, most dogs are of medium height and have yellow or black coats.  The dump is a food paradise so they don't have to be competitive.  The dump is also a social paradise (read that as a euphemism) so there are lots of pups.  Curiously, when the pups stop nursing they are mostly neglected by adult dogs.  Unlike wolves and jackals, dogs are terrible parents.

If you are moved by the thought of the dog as Man's Best Friend, give it up.  They love us because we feed them.

Earlier in the meeting, Lorraine Desroshiers auctioned off still more wine and gift certificates from Love Notes.  Vivienne Carey announced the good news that while we promised $11,600 to the human service agencies we are supporting this year, we will actually distribute $15,000. 

President Larry Siddell announced that he will be away for several weeks.  In his absence, Vivienne Carey will chair the meetings and Claude Tellier will take food contributions to the Survival Center.  A reminder that next week there will be a general discussion of the Club's approach to membership, in lieu of a speaker.  And the following week, March 23rd, representatives of the human service agencies we support will join us to accept their checks and tell us what their plans are to use them.

Lorraine Desroshiers asks any Club member unable to attend the Love Notes debriefing last Sunday who wishes to comment on the event to send her an e-mail.  She is also organizing an effort to provide support for Jacquie Price when she returns home from her convalescence in a week or so.

Joining us today for lunch were Nat Phillip Jones, an edible landscaper whose father had been a student of Professor Coppinger, and Ruth Hazzard, wife of Claude Tellier.


Michael Greenebaum (a cat person)