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Thank Goodness for Pet Psychics:

Photo caption I stumbled across: "Tinker Bell, a six-pound Chihuahua, rests in her owner's arms after a happy reunion. The dog was blown away by a 70-mph gust of wind on April 25 and lost for two days. Dorothy and Lavern Utley of Waterford Township, Mich., said a pet psychic helped them find Tinker Bell."

I wonder who this pet psychic is? Maybe he can get me in touch with my dear departed tabby? (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.)

SFH:
Let's give some credit to the children clapping their hands and saying," I do believe in flying chihuahuas! I do! I do!
6.12.2009 11:19pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Try CraigsList.

Cheers,
6.12.2009 11:19pm
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :
That pet psychic is in luck! With this incredible demonstrated talent, untold riches may await!
6.12.2009 11:24pm
Anderson (mail):
I'm not sure which I disbelieve more, the psychic, or the chihuahua-snatching wind.

Tho, I must say, it's an ill wind that blows no yapping lapdog.
6.12.2009 11:37pm
Albatross (mail) (www):
What's the problem? Tinker Bell flies, right?
6.13.2009 1:10am
prosa123 (mail) (www):
So the dog's owner is named Dorothy? The story would be even funnier if the dog were named Toto.
6.13.2009 1:24am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Nancy Reagan had a pet psychic when she was First Lady.
6.13.2009 2:45am
josil (mail):
A friend of mine (Math PhD)is married to a statistician and cat lover. Their cat was lost for over a week and after much searching, they resorted to a cat psychic from another state. The psychic recommended looking for the cat in a nearby culvert, and that's where it was. Apparently, this psychic is known over a wide part of the eastern seaboard. Anyway, I offer this anecdote not as proof of anything but, perhaps, a caution for overweening rationalism and unwarranted sarcasm.
6.13.2009 3:19am
Anemceeo:
When I first glanced this I thought it said "pet physics". I thought the point might be something about chihuahuas being light and providing enough surface area for a breeze of wind to act upon.

But psychics are good too. In any case, poor chihuahua...
6.13.2009 3:58am
Jeff Hall (mail) (www):
Just be careful that you don't mess with the reality of space-time itself. That'd ruin your day.
6.13.2009 7:05am
PersonFromPorlock:
Well, the thing with cats, of course, is whether or not they want to get in touch with you.
6.13.2009 7:43am
Dom:
Josil: It's not unlikely that a self-taught cat behavioral expert will be more successful marketing his or her services as a "cat psychic."

Temple Grandin could call herself a "cow psychic" if she wanted to.
6.13.2009 8:21am
Anderson (mail):
It's not unlikely that a self-taught cat behavioral expert will be more successful marketing his or her services as a "cat psychic."

Self-taught or not. I see a trend. "Eugene Volokh, First Amendment psychic!"
6.13.2009 9:05am
JohnEMack (mail):
This story could only have been better if the Dog's name was Toto.
6.13.2009 9:26am
corneille1640 (mail):
This post is obviously a part of Mr. Bernstein's partisan attack on Obama.

Pet psychics vote for Democrats in disproportionate numbers, and Obama will need Michigan's electoral votes in the next election.
6.13.2009 10:22am
Vader:
"The dog was blown away by a 70-mph gust of wind on April 25 and lost for two days."

Doggone.

"It's not unlikely that a self-taught cat behavioral expert will be more successful marketing his or her services as a 'cat psychic.'"

I've thought of advertising myself as a quantum mechanic, but I guess I have too many qualms.
6.13.2009 11:51am
Alexia:
She lives near me, so I was already familiar with the story. http://tinyurl.com/knpxew . She's been on Oprah - how can you go wrong?
6.13.2009 12:10pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
What does this have to do with Israel? Or the DC housing market?
6.13.2009 12:13pm
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :

What does this have to do with Israel? Or the DC housing market?

Learn from my name, David M. Nieporent. It is my gift to you.
6.13.2009 12:26pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
Isn't your name a fraud, excluder? How can you comment on a post that you are supposedly unable to read?
6.13.2009 12:31pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
As a fan of the CBS show, the Mentalist, I could see a spinoff called the Pet Mentalist regarding someone who solves pet problems using intuition, as well as inductive and deductive logic. Perhaps it could be called the SentiMentalist.
6.13.2009 12:41pm
byomtov (mail):
Dorothy and Lavern Utley of Waterford Township, Mich., said a pet psychic helped them find Tinker Bell."

Well, it could be true. Notice they didn't say the psychic used psychic powers to find Tinker Bell. Maybe the psychic just walked around yelling, "Here, Tinker Bell," and eventually the dog heard and came running.

Could be. Or not.
6.13.2009 3:13pm
kumquat:
It's not unlikely that a self-taught cat behavioral expert will be more successful marketing his or her services as a "cat psychic."

This isn't a bad explanation for psychics in general. I saw a pet psychic at work once, and virtually all of what she said was either: a) something that could be picked up from educated observation of the pet and its owner, or b) totally unverifiable, making no difference to the pet owner's future actions. I've seen interviews with ex-regular-psychics, too, where they pretty much admitted they were just going off careful observation.
6.13.2009 3:24pm
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :

Isn't your name a fraud, excluder? How can you comment on a post that you are supposedly unable to read?

How can you be so incapable of grasping the obvious?

Question your assumptions. My handle is intended as a challenge to those who, like Nieporent, post complaints about DB instead of just ignoring him.

It's clearly not an indication that I refuse to read him. Obviously I read DB, because here I am.
6.13.2009 3:58pm
ChrisRedux (mail):
Umm.. can anyone explain how such a small dog survived being blown away by a 70mph wind into a culvert??? I call 'scam.'
6.13.2009 4:47pm
kumquat:
ChrisRedux -

The smaller an animal is, the less damage it suffers from falling (or being blown away). Injury is caused by the force of impact, and force = mass*acceleration, so less mass means less force. For example, a fall that would kill a man would only discombobulate a cockroach.
6.13.2009 6:01pm
ChrisRedux (mail):
kumquat:

Ah. Well, that does make sense and goes to the 'animal physics' idea. Still, blown into a culvert and lived for 2 days?

Call me a sceptic.

(Love the handle, by the way.)
6.13.2009 7:28pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Learn from my name, David M. Nieporent. It is my gift to you.
Joke: learn what it is.
6.13.2009 8:35pm
Fub:
ChrisRedux wrote at 6.13.2009 7:28pm:
Ah. Well, that does make sense and goes to the 'animal physics' idea. Still, blown into a culvert and lived for 2 days?

Call me a sceptic.
For "animal physics", just assume the animals are spheres of equally dense material. Think of the ratio of mass to surface area, and how the average "radius" of the animal determines that.

Two approaches fall out of that: terminal velocity in still air is lower for a smaller animal falling; and ratio of bursting strength of skin (or fracture strength of bones) to stress due to impact at any velocity is greater for smaller animal.

Quick top of the head algebra tells me that in both approaches, advantage is inversely proportional to R, the animal's "radius". But the top of my head could be wrong, as it is sometimes very small.
6.13.2009 8:45pm
ChrisRedux (mail):
Fub:

Hey, I'm no physicist, but I do think the 'living organism' (aka, samll doggy) factor needs some consideration.

Not all 'bodies in motion' are created equal - or, blown away equal.
6.13.2009 9:48pm
stevefromcleveland:
Even in a post about a puppy reunion, Mr. Bernstein manages to work in some sarcasm.
6.13.2009 11:17pm
David Hardy (mail) (www):
Been in some stiff winds. Maybe I'm just a skeptic, but never saw one that would pick up a 6 lb pet and whisk it out of my vision.
6.14.2009 1:55am
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :

Joke: learn what it is.

If that's your joke, I'm forced to suggest that you learn what humor is.
6.14.2009 11:11pm

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