Canine Viscosity

10 years or so ago, I was working for a company that manages the logistics of property repossessions. I don't want to give anyone ideas, but it is not all that uncommon for the borrower (the owner who is unable to make his repayments) to borrow, or in extreme cases, hire, a big, noisy, aggressive-sounding dog.

Locksmiths and Bailifs (the usual attenders of repossessions) are by their own confession not dog handlers, and will usually call off the repossession until attendance by an RSPCA* officer or private animal handler can be arranged. This can take many weeks. It was not therefore uncommon to receive a message telling us that the repossession could not go ahead for this reason.

On July 26th 1999 I received the following message:

"The previous eviction appointment could not go ahead as there was a viscous dog in the property"

If you google for "viscous dog", you will get over half a million hits. It astonishes me therefore to find that there are no university departments, no private laboratories studying canine viscosity; there isn't even an entry on Wikipedia.

Maybe it's because fluid dynamics has a reputation for having a lot of difficult math. Maybe dogs with high viscosity, being slow moving, are not considered a problem, and therefore not worthy of study.

I think we should be told.

* The RSPCA is often descibed to Americans as "the British equivalent of PETA". This is only true in the sense that both are charities largely funded by private subscriptions. PETA is an animal rights organization; the RSPCA is concerned with animal care and welfare.

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