Posted in zany, offbeat, somewhat silly humor

Arboreal Canine Alert!

Here in The Department of Being Somewhat Fixated On Dogs, our team of researchers consisting of me, my friend Bob (not his real name) and Sarge (my dog) somehow ran across a post which talked about dogs who climb trees. We’ll get to these dogs in due course but first I need to deal with some unfinished business regarding the last post about Garden Hermits.

Alert readers know that I never explained exactly what the contraptions in the Featured Image were. Instead, I said this: “I know that you’re wondering about the devices depicted in the Feature Image, so I’ll tell you what they AREN’T. They’re NOT fraternal twin companion robots. They’re also NOT the components of some kind of futuristic, regenerative, zero-emission composting toilet.”

Here is the mystery duo:

Once again, your mind might literally be brimming with speculation and puzzlement so I’ll come clean(!). first noting that I also should’ve pointed out that the mystery duo are NOT the components of some kind of futuristic bidet.

Speaking of the future, admittedly, the quasi-barrel chair on the left looks like something from the bridge of the USS Enterprise: something that steely-eyed starship commander James T. Kirk would have sat on. Especially if Captain Kirk had issues with his prostate. (More on that in a minute.)

William Shatner, aka Jim Kirk, flanked by his cheery life coach/urologist, Louise, who is comfortably ensconced in her diagnosis pod and holding a tiny Captain Kirk action figure. Or maybe it’s Karl Rove. I dunno.

Turns out that the chair is an FDA- and Health Canada- cleared therapeutic device called the Emsella, used to treat issues arising in the pelvic floor, in both females and males. The pelvic floor is usually located one floor below the lowest underground parking level: at least in downtown Calgary.

Seriously, the pelvic floor is basically a sling composed of four muscles. No one except urologists and Latin teachers can pronounce the names of the muscles. According to the Cleveland Clinic (Motto: We try to just get to the point and not talk over your head): “Your pelvic floor muscles help stabilize your core while assisting with essential bodily functions, like pooping, peeing and having sex.”

Thank you for just getting to the point and not talking over our heads, Cleveland Clinic!

Pelvic floor problems include urinary and fecal incontinence as well as impairment of sexual function. These problems arise for diverse reasons, including but not limited to childbirth, surgery, neurologic diseases, bad decision-making, prostate enlargement, being audited by the IRS and/or CRA and, of course, trauma arising from activities such as pole vaulting, beekeeping, multilevel marketing, mountain biking, counted cross stitch and run-on sentences. (Run-on or no, that’s a pretty diverse list of causes if I say so myself.)

Anyway, where was I? Yes! The Emsella. You’re probably wondering how it works. The chair houses an MRI-grade magnet that emits trains of electromagnetic energy pulses which stimulate the muscles in the pelvic floor repeatedly during a treatment session:12,000 pulses (give or take) per session. The thing beside the chair is the combination power supply/pulse generator/beverage dispenser. There might be a urologist in there too. I don’t know. Ask William Shatner.

If you know what Kegel exercises are, I can tell you that the pulses emitted in an Emsella session result in about 12,000 Kegel exercise contractions (give or take). Even if you don’t know what Kegel exercises are, I can still tell you that each session consists of about 12,000 Kegel exercise contractions (give or take). These contractions retrain and strengthen the four unpronounceable pelvic floor muscles but also retrain/re-engage the associated nerves as well.

Here are unretouched images of an unstimulated, relaxed, loosened and mixing bowl-shaped pelvic floor (left) and the same pelvic floor having its doorbell rung by an electromagnetic Emsella pulse. Note how the floor has risen up to the dotted line and looks more like a saucepan (right). If I was a judge in the Olympic Pelvic Floor Reverse Pullup and Cooking Ware event I would for sure give the Emsella a 9.5 and maybe even a 10. I also think Julia Child would agree with me, for what it’s worth.

Several important points here:

  1. The treatments may improve sexual function and orgasm.
  2. 12,000 pelvic floor contractions is a lot of contractions.  You could never do that many Kegels on your own even if you were born on the planet Krypton aka the home planet of Superman, his urologist and all of his Superpets.
  3. Despite that the Emsella-generated contractions are also more sustained and intense than homemade contractions, they’re not painful. You have full control over the intensity of the effect.
  4. Did I mention that the treatments can help sexual function and orgasm?

A course of Emsella therapy typically consists of six 28-minute sessions spread over three weeks. You just walk in and plop down on the chair although I recommend getting an appointment first. You don’t have to undress although I guess you could sit there in the nude if you really wanted to. Many people bring a book. My suggestions include the Kama Sutra, The Power of Positional Thinking, and Good Vibrations, authored by…wait for it…Mike Love.

So. Here we are. As threatened, I will now hold forth about dogs that can climb trees. I just got a little sidetracked. Here’s the Cole’s Notes version, distilled from a blog post called The Daily Wag. It was an OK post except one of the somewhat circumlocutionary sections was entitled “Signs a Dog Can Climb a Tree.” Never mind rambling on about breed history, temperament, phase of the moon, favorite snack, etc. I think that the best sign would be if your dog just bombed up to a tree and next thing you knew, it was peering down at you with a satisfied look on its face. That would pretty much settle the question of whether it can climb trees. Just saying.

The following dogs are renowned for their tree-climbing tendencies:

  1. Catahoula Leopard Dog
  2. Jack Russell Terrier
  3. Treeing Walker Coonhound
  4. New Guinea Singing Dog
  5. Racoon Dog

Assorted Border Collies, Dobermans and Golden Doodles are also reputed to scoot up trees when the mood takes them. Apparently this has been documented by video footage.

I wrote about a Catahoula named Stella who learned to communicate her inner thoughts to a speech therapist by using programmable talking push buttons. As far as I know, Stella didn’t say anything about trees. My buddy Travis had various Jack Russells but I never saw any of them climb anything except your leg. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are prone to something called “hound-dog funk.” Don’t ask.

I had never heard of the New Guinea Singing Dog or the Raccoon Dog but come to find out they are quite photogenic:

New Guinea Singing Dog in the midst of a stirring rendition of Freddy Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Racoon, possibly declaring as a Racoon Dog but either way, fresh from a trip to the groomers for its monthly Bath ‘n’ Tidy

Whew! It took me a while but at least now you’re up to speed on the Emsella AND tree-climbing mutts. Sorry it took me so long; I just don’t like to leave things hanging.


Dave Barry fan and Medical Director at Rocky Mountain Analytical