Thursday, October 9, 2014

Advancing Human Knowledge

Last month, I got a survey in the mail from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  It asked if I had a dog, and if I kept livestock at home.  It had a number of questions about the dog, and whether he had access to the livestock, and whether he might eat feed, manure, placentas or castrated testicles.  Of course, the answers to each of those is yes.  According to the letter that accompanied the survey, the study was aimed at discovering whether there was a link between the interactions of farm dogs and livestock, and the spread of salmonella and drug-resistant bacteria in livestock.  I figured that my answers might be useful in representing one real dimension of the life of farm dogs, and might help in the study.

Yesterday, I got a large, bulky envelope from OSU.  When I opened it, I found the following supplies:

Apparently, I was selected for a follow-up survey, which requested that I collect (3) samples of dog shit, to be analyzed for the study.  Included were three specimen bottles, rubber gloves, tongue depressors for placing the shit in the specimen bottles, a sealable bag marked for bio-hazards and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to send the shit back through the U.S. Mail (God bless our letter carriers).

Here is the letter that was enclosed with the dog shit collection kit:

and here were the sample collection instructions:

My favorite part is this line: "Each sample should come from separate bowel movements (poops)."  I'll let Billy Madison take it from here:

Of course, since I strongly support scientific research, especially when it is aimed at the improvement of the agricultural arts, I will participate in the follow-up. In fact, I collected my first poop [giggle] sample tonight.

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