Lab meeting III–me and my shadow

At the risk of going overboard on the subject of dogs, I find it necessary to post “Lab Meeting III”—because today is a historic occasion—the adoption of Ginger/AKA/Vi (Vizsla) from an animal shelter. Such a rare event that I did something that I seldom do—I took time off without leaving the city.

Ginger in car
Here is Ginger in the car, relaxed as though this were an everyday event.

We have been through quite a lot in this one exciting day, in which ¾ of the family is celebrating (my kids and I) and ¼ is—well—celebrating with perhaps modestly reduced enthusiasm.

In this photo of Ginger, one can see the scar still visible from the recent “lumpectomy” that was done by the shelter veterinarian. Turns out that she had a melanocytoma, or benign form of melanoma, which we learned was quite common on the eyelids of Vizsla pointers.

So what was her first day like? We drove home from the shelter—gave her the run of the house, played fetch in the yard, and went for a 3-mile walk. She learned to sit in 10 minutes, and getting her to lie down took about an hour of effort. The hardest thing is getting her stay calm on the leash—especially when a bunny rabbit whizzed by…



But the weirdest thing is her behavior toward me! I read that Vizsla dogs are very affectionate and often called “Velcro,” but she seems to have imprinted on me. Basically, I have a shadow. Despite my kids and everything else, where I go, she goes. Bathroom and all. And when I popped out for an errand for 15 minutes this evening, reports have it that she sat patiently by the door.

Even now, writing these few lines, Ginger is at my feet. Every now and then, she gets up and tries to lick me, and induce some patting and play. I’ve never seen anything quite like this! Velcro is the perfect description. Well, it’s good to know that someone wants me around!

But HELP?! Any dog owners out there with tips on how to reduce “neediness” in a dog? Please?!


About Steve Caplan

I am a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska where I mentor a group of students, postdoctoral fellows and researchers working on endocytic protein trafficking. My first lablit novel, "Matter Over Mind," is about a biomedical researcher seeking tenure and struggling to overcome the consequences of growing up with a parent suffering from bipolar disorder. Lablit novel #2, "Welcome Home, Sir," published by Anaphora Literary Press, deals with a hypochondriac principal investigator whose service in the army and post-traumatic stress disorder actually prepare him well for academic, but not personal success. Novel #3, "A Degree of Betrayal," is an academic murder mystery. "Saving One" is my most recent novel set at the National Institutes of Health. Now IN PRESS: Today's Curiosity is Tomorrow's Cure: The Case for Basic Biomedical Research (CRC PRESS, 2021). All views expressed are my own, of course--after all, I hate advertising.
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5 Responses to Lab meeting III–me and my shadow

  1. cromercrox says:

    First – it’s not possible to ‘go overboard’ about dogs. People may come and go, but dogs are BRILLIANT.

    Second – don’t complain about your dog being ‘needy’. Treasure such unconditional love – you won’t get it from a human.

  2. Steve Caplan says:

    Yes, Ginger is brilliant! And dogs certainly are wonderful. My comments about neediness stemmed primarily from the incessant whining for me all night in my son’s room that kept us up! But Night #2 was a huge improvement, and it looks like we’re getting into a routine.

    See the new trick video above!

  3. Lorraine Halparin says:

    congratulations on the new addition to the family.. I still “stalk” you regularly on this site and always happy to learn of your and yours accomplishments. Looking Good! L

  4. I love the photos! It is essentially impossible not to be happy and goofy around a goofy, happy dog

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