A student’s short story: The Boy and His Dogs Part X

Ryan Skunda – Staff Writer

The answer to this question though was that Charles had no idea yet what he had found. He may very well had found out that he was wrong or maybe right and he had just made one of the greatest discoveries ever.

However, he did not know because he had months worth of research to go through and only then could he say something conclusively or not. So, every day after school Charles would come home and spend hours in his room going over everything he had collected over the last few months. After months of going over all of his data, Charles finally found something.

At first it seemed like nothing, but soon enough, Charles realized that he had discovered something substantial. Charles found in his data that there was a consistency concerning his dogs, Lincoln and George’s, learning capabilities. The data suggested that the dogs were retaining the things that Charles was teaching them and would build upon that each week. The reason that Charles can prove this is because after a week of having them do things, the next week he would incorporate things from the previous week and his data shows that they retained as much as 90 percent of what they learned overall. Charles wanted to prove how smart these dogs were and he just did.

Now, you would probably think that the first thing Charles would have done was tell somebody about his discovery, but that is not what he did. The first thing he did was take all of his papers and clip them together and on the top left corner of the first page wrote the date and put them in his drawer. He told no one, he just put this away and didn’t tell anybody or even talk about it for nearly three years. His parents never really asked him about it, figuring that he had just given up and he didn’t care anymore, of course they were totally wrong. The reason that Charles stopped was very simple. He wanted to wait so he could see if Lincoln and George would remember what he had taught them.

So, he waited and three years later he went back to his experiment. Charles is 18 now and is a senior in high school, just a few months away from graduating. He is planning after high school to go overseas to England so he can study at Cambridge, where he has a full scholarship to attend.

He is planning on getting two degrees in physics and biology. Then, he figures he can get his PhD in perhaps something like chemistry, Charles really didn’t know and at this point. At this point, Lincoln was now seven years-old and George was five years old. Charles had not done anything with them in the last three years, absolutely nothing and quite frankly had forgotten almost all about the experiment.  Until, one day he was sitting at his desk and opened up the drawer that had all of his research paper clipped together, he put it on his desk and began to look through it.

After spending an hour or so going through everything, he decided that now was a good time to test his theory. He now wanted to know if they could remember what they were taught. So, he walked downstairs and into the kitchen. The dogs were laying in the living room. Charles called them; “Lincoln!” “George!” “Here boys!”

As soon as they heard him calling, they came running over to him and sat at his feet and waited for what he wanted them to do next. He opened the door and told them go out in the yard and lay down. They did and he went out behind them, hoping that this would not be in vain.

They spent several hours out, they were out there for so long that eventually Sam went out and to see what exactly was going on and to her surprise, the dogs were doing the same stuff that she had saw them do more than three years ago. She could not believe that after all this time they still remembered everything they had been taught.  Charles, seeing his mom standing there and ran over to her, “Mom! They remember what I taught them!” Charles was so happy that he did not sleep that night. He instead took all of his research and starting writing up a report that he could actually have published. He worked all through the night, and by the end he had typed up 15 pages on his experiment. Though he didn’t publish it for years.

He graduated high school and went to Cambridge and got his degrees, ending with his PhD in both biology and chemistry, as chemistry took his interest in grad school. He went on to become one of the most renowned scientists of the time and taught at some of the best universities around the world. Throughout time, both Lincoln and George had both passed away and he had once again forgotten all about his research until one day.

One day, as he was grading papers at his desk, he stumbled on to the research he did when he was a kid. He finally decided to publish his work. Of course, there was criticism from the scientific community because even though the evidence was compelling, it could have also been made up.

Charles remembered that he had video footage of everything and that was enough to silence his critics. He went onto publishing his work. What Charles discovered was replicated several times over my many different people. However, his discover would change how people not only thought about this specific breed but how they thought about dogs in general and eventually all animals. As people started to do this with all kinds of animals with very similar types of results and to think all it took was a Boy and his Dogs.

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