UMOs in Area K9 (Long Live Science)

Here at YIKMDLF we just LOOOOOOOVE scientists.  It never ceases to amaze us about what sorts of studies get conducted.  We’d dearly like to know who funds most of these studies and get their phone number.  We have a few studies of our own we’d like to conduct.

The latest piece of mind-boggling research that we discovered involves looking at how dogs react to an unidentified moving object.  Sounds vaguely scientific right?  This study took some dogs and put them together in a room with a remote controlled car.  To make it more scientific they set up two different scenarios.  One where the remote controlled car was unaltered and another where the remote controlled car had eyes drawn on to the windshield.  Why would they put eyes on the remote controlled car?  The car without eyes was called the mechanical unidentified moving object (UMO) and the car with the eyes was called the social unidentified moving object (UMO). 

Honestly we think this study shows us far more about the inner workings of the scientists but, being humble civilians without any big funding behind us, who are we to say?  The scientists brought the dogs in the room and drove the cars around in a fixed pattern, or interactively based on what the dog did.  The earth shattering results of this brilliant use of tax payer dollars?  The dogs looked at the social UMO more than the mechanical UMO.  And the conclusion?  Dogs probably watched the cars because they were novel.  Oh yeah, and because they were moving.

Blue greyhound stares down his prey
Blue prefers his objects stationary.
We are not scientific Luddites, but here is another example of something that any dog owner could have filled them in on had we only been asked.  Then they could have spent all those scientific dollars on researching a cure for osteosarcoma say.  

This experiment conducted in our living room would result as follows:

Bettina sees the car and finds it fascinating because it is moving.  She proceeds forward  to investigate it but the second it turns towards her, she starts scrabbling backwards to get away from it.  The car and Bettina then engage in a dance of approach and retreat until Bettina figures out from a distance that it can’t be eaten and loses interest.  The addition of a pair of eyes to the windshield of the UMO would not affect the outcome.

Blue sees the car and immediately becomes wary.  When it begins to move, he moves on to downright scared.  He begins leaning hard into the nearest human hoping for protection.  If the car makes any move whatsoever in his direction, he panics and blindly runs in a direction that is away from the car.  This continues until someone takes pity on the poor beast and lets him out of the room.  The addition of a pair of eyes to the windshield of the UMO in this instance serve to increase Blue’s horror level.  

Our conclusion drawn from this thought experiment?  That pet owners need to form a coalition.  We’ll make it easy for the scientists to find us.  They deposit their research dollars into our account to be distributed to various good canine causes of our choosing, and we tell them the results from our real life experience for any experiment they can dream up.  No animals harmed (physically or psychologically), no scientists harmed (physically or psychologically) and maybe a cure for canine cancer.


  1. Hilarious post. I am available for the list.

  2. Ha ha ha! Add me to the list! I think Flattery would attack the car and demolish it in a matter of seconds.

  3. I sort of get where they're coming from with the study, though. Gardeners used to hang aluminum pie plates in gardens so the wind would blow and spin them and the motion would discourage birds from bothering the vegetables. But then someone got the idea of putting eyes on the pie-plates. The birds stayed far away, then, apparently thinking the plates-with-eyes were owls.

    Except dogs aren't normally afraid of robocars, and robocars with eyes aren't going to look like something dogs are afraid of.

    Also, dogs aren't bird-brains.

  4. I'm in! I'd love to be able to donate money to worthy dog causes that would normally be wasted :)

  5. LOL! I missed this post last week! Wilson would probably ignore the cars completely with the roll of his eyes. Jimmy would go into full on attack mode accompanied with ear-splitting barking. He would bite the car until either it broke or one of his teeth did!

  6. Well I would definitely be in on this!

  7. This is hilarious, just imagining the dogs and their reactions.


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