In torts class, I promised an esteemed lecturer who spent a lifetime of work on animal liability. Yesterday, they met the professor who had a biting wit and a dogged socratic style: my dog Molly. Her qualifications are that she has spent a lifetime as a dog and has studied most animals under clinical conditions. Herr Professor is tamed but untenured.
With a life-sized stuff Wile E. Coyote next to her for comparison, Molly demonstrated the difference between wild and domesticated animals — a distinction vital to the application of strict liability versus negligence. She further demonstrated the key concept of animus revertendi by coming when called, sitting upon command, shaking upon invitation, and lying down when asked. She even gave demonstrations of oral contracts in performing for the promise of treats — offering a cross-over lecture with contracts that reflect her broad innate knowledge of the law.
A few of the students were so overwhelmed by her lecture (no doubt after a term of listening to a burned out law professor), that they congratulated her at the end of the class.
Now before you say that GW has gone to the dogs, I will note that Molly will be counted toward our student-teacher ratio and has already received some of the highest student evaluations. Indeed, my academic biped colleagues should feel rather uneasy. I have rarely seen students rushing to the front of the class to mollycoddle professors, let alone beg to go on a walk with them.
As for Molly, she took her first class in stride. She is back home though she has adopted a far more contemplative look since walking the halls of academia. I was particularly proud to see her assume the posture of dead wood on the sofa — adjusting easily to the academic pace.