How do dogs perceive time?


Announcer

Welcome to Stuff You Should Know from HowStuffWorks.com.

Josh Clark

Hey, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh Clark. There's Charles Bryant - Chuck Bryant.

Chuck Bryant

[Making barking sound].

Josh Clark

Yes, nice, Chuck. We'll get to that in a second. Do it again.

Chuck Bryant

[Making barking sound].

Josh Clark

That's awesome. Chuck's barking because this is Stuff You Should Know, and this particular Stuff You Should Know is entitled, "How Do Dogs Perceive Time?"

Chuck Bryant

And I said in dog language just then, I don't perceive time.

Josh Clark

That is up for debate, my friend, up for vigorous debate.

Chuck Bryant

All right.

Josh Clark

So, Chuck, let me do a little intro here, a little lead-in, segue, whatever.

Chuck Bryant

I know I spoiled your parade there.

Josh Clark

What are we calling these things?

Chuck Bryant

What are we what?

Josh Clark

Segues, lead-ins, intros?

Chuck Bryant

Intro.

Josh Clark

Shmekels?

Chuck Bryant

Shmekels.

Josh Clark

Chuck, about a year ago, well, a year ago this month, Paris, well, France - Paris, France made history, legal history.

Chuck Bryant

How so?

Josh Clark

They actually used a dog as a witness in a criminal case.

Chuck Bryant

Did they get the dog to, like, bark at someone?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Wow.

Josh Clark

I kid you not.

Chuck Bryant

What, like, an intruder?

Josh Clark

At the very least - and I hope I'm not a Bangladeshian newspaper here because I found it in the Daily Mail, which is not known for satire, but it can be known for poor reporting from time to time, but -

Chuck Bryant

So you may have egg on your face soon?

Josh Clark

We'll find out. But there was a dog named Scooby that was brought into a -

Chuck Bryant

It sounds less believable with that name.

Josh Clark

It does, doesn't it? I should have forwarded you this article. There was a dog named Scooby that was brought into a murder case for a hearing to see if there was enough evidence to try a man for murder for something that was ruled a suicide, and the dog barked furiously at the alleged perpetrator.

Chuck Bryant

And they gave him a Scooby snack?

Josh Clark

Yeah. So that was the last I heard. It was from a year ago, but there was some concern over whether the dog's memory would serve it or not because it had been two and a half years since the incident.

Chuck Bryant

Okay. That makes sense. And that's kind of key to how dogs may or may not perceive time.

Josh Clark

It's the best I could come up with.

Chuck Bryant

It was great.

Josh Clark

Thanks. So what that betrays is a sense by at least the reporter and the courts in Paris that dogs have a memory, that if they have a memory, then they should be able to perceive time, right?

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

Chuck, let's talk about this. What is time?

Chuck Bryant

Oh, dear, are you kidding me? Well, you know my whole deal with time. I've said it before.

Josh Clark

What?

Chuck Bryant

Well, time is just abstract. Numbers on a calendar and hands on a watch aren't time.

Josh Clark

Well, yeah. No, what you're talking about is the human construct of time.

Chuck Bryant

Yes.

Josh Clark

Based on 24 hours, right?

Chuck Bryant

Which is all kind of arbitrary really?

Josh Clark

Seven days in a week, 30 - well, not necessarily.

Chuck Bryant

Well, not anymore, it's not.

Josh Clark

Here's why. It was actually kind if ingenious that we should come up with the 24-hour day because we have these things called circadian oscillators, which are the, well; they're the fluctuators in our circadian rhythm -

Chuck Bryant

Hormones.

Josh Clark

- which is what makes us fall asleep at night; wake up in the morning -

Chuck Bryant

Right, body temperature.

Josh Clark

- get hungry at certain times.

Chuck Bryant

Neural activity.

Josh Clark

Right. The neural activity and the hormones are reactions to things like changes in temperature that are on a daily basis, things like the changes in natural light, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, sure.

Josh Clark

So our reactions to these are circadian oscillators, and if you put them all together, like sleeping at night and waking up in the morning, that's our circadian rhythm. But these circadian clocks actually exist on about a 24-hour period.

Chuck Bryant

Well, that makes sense then.

Josh Clark

But, like you said, days on the calendar and all that, that is a human construct.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, yeah.

Josh Clark

So what we're trying to get to the bottom of is whether or not dogs can perceive this, not necessarily the human construct of time, but of time in and of itself, which is essentially a past, present and future.

Chuck Bryant

Exactly. And I know that one thing that we will talk about, and maybe we'll talk about it right now, is you have three dogs.

Josh Clark

Do you have any dogs?

Chuck Bryant

I have two dogs.

Josh Clark

What?

Chuck Bryant

Shut up. I have two dogs, and I'm actually fostering two feral puppy rescues, which you know. So, right now, I have four dogs.

Josh Clark

Do you want to get rid of those two dogs because we could get rid of them like that if we plug this on this podcast?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, we're kind of picky about who we give them to.

Josh Clark

Okay. Well, how about this? If you're not a creep and you love dogs -

Chuck Bryant

And you live in the East Lake area of Atlanta.

Josh Clark

Yeah. Send us an email if you want one of Chuck's puppies.

Chuck Bryant

Very cute.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

So, anyway, if your dogs are anything like my dogs, they - and actually, my cats, too - they know when the food bell is going to ring.

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

Actually, they start - Emily calls it food abuse. They start the food abuse typically about an hour and a half before they typically get fed every afternoon. And in the morning, we feed them pretty much straightaway in the morning so they know then. But my dog Lucy, dude, comes in the room and looks at you with her head cocked, stamps on the floor with her feet and goes [making whining noises], and I'm waiting for her literally to one day say, "Feed me, [bleep]. I told Emily if she did that one day, I would be surprised for about a second.

Josh Clark

So, Chuck, here is where we reach the bone of contention. Sorry for that pun. I'm not Jonathan Strickland.

Chuck Bryant

Your dogs do the same thing, I assume, right?

Josh Clark

Well, no. My dogs are fed constantly. They always have food. For some reason, I've lucked out and they just eat whenever they want, whenever they're hungry.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, God, I can't imagine that.

Josh Clark

It's pretty cool actually.

Chuck Bryant

My dogs eat their food like it's the first time they've ever been fed, twice a day.

Josh Clark

I've seen that before. My dogs, they're pretty laidback when it comes to stuff like that.

Chuck Bryant

Are they fat?

Josh Clark

No.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

No. They're healthier than I am.

Chuck Bryant

Well, they don't smoke.

Josh Clark

They're healthier than a lot of people I know. No, they regulate their food intake on their own. It's weird.

Chuck Bryant

It's so weird to me.

Josh Clark

But I know what you're talking about. So the question is this: Do your dogs know, based on past experience, that food is coming at a certain time of day, not necessarily, like, 5:35 p.m., but, say, as far as the dog's concerned, when sun is low and sky over there?

Chuck Bryant

Right. Are they Native American all of a sudden?

Josh Clark

Right, yeah. No, they're, like, Italians playing Native Americans.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

"What do you think, I'm dumbbell?" So -

Chuck Bryant

Or is it a circadian oscillator? Well, that's the circadian oscillator.

Josh Clark

It could be, yeah, it could be. What that is, is they're using their memories of past experiences to predict the future, which is episodic memory, which is our construction of time; or is this semantic memory, which is totally different, but related? Do you want me to go into this because this is outside research?

Chuck Bryant

Well, I have no choice then.

Josh Clark

Semantic memory is - all right, Chuck, let's say that you have brain damage to your frontal lobe -

Chuck Bryant

I do, in fact.

Josh Clark

- which is where your episodic memory is located. That's the region that controls episodic memory, which is learning from experience, right?

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

You could conceivably learn how to play chess, right?

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

But you won't remember where you learned how to place chess.

Chuck Bryant

Right, much like they say a baby learns how to walk and talk, but they don't remember that day you taught me how to walk.

Josh Clark

Right. They don't have to relearn crawling or walking or talking -

Chuck Bryant

On a day-to-day basis.

Josh Clark

Right, because they learned it, and that's semantic memory. That's like facts and rules and possibly motor movements or whatever, or, you know, if I run into this wall, it's going to hurt my face because I'm crawling. But they don't remember -

Chuck Bryant

You taught me to walk last week.

Josh Clark

- somebody teaching them, like, "Come, crawl to me," that kind of thing, right? So, yeah, that's semantic memory. Episodic memory would be like, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Chuck Bryant

I had a fruit smoothie.

Josh Clark

You had a fruit smoothie.

Chuck Bryant

I remember what the light looked like. I remember what it smelled like.

Josh Clark

That is precisely episodic memory. And I should probably give a shout-out to T.R. Zentall, who I'm, like, just blatantly ripping off right now. The chess example was one of Zentall's examples of semantic memory. And what you've just said is almost word for word an example of episodic memory. You said, you know, you remember these other details -

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

- whereas, had you said, "I had a smoothie this morning. I must have because I always have a smoothie," right?

Chuck Bryant

The burping of a smoothie.

Josh Clark

That would be - well, not the burping part, but if you always had it, then that would be more like semantic memory. So we reach the question: Do dogs perceive time, or are these reactions that appear like they're keeping track of time some way, maybe through a circadian oscillator, based on semantic memories? And there's been a lot of studies, not necessarily on dogs, but on other animals, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. What's this crackpot's name?

Josh Clark

Roberts?

Chuck Bryant

No. What's this guy's name, Dr. Roberts?

Josh Clark

Yeah. I have to say I'm gonna take issue with Dr. Roberts.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, William Roberts. He's an animal cognition researcher.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

Right off the bat, you're taking issue with that, just his title?

Josh Clark

Not that part.

Chuck Bryant

Okay.

Josh Clark

No.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. He did some studies on pigeons and primates, to name a couple, in long-term and short-term memory, as far as remembering a sequence that they would - I guess the pigeons would peck it out, and the primates would tap it out to get a reward. And they found that they have pretty good short-term memory for this kind of thing.

Josh Clark

Right, which is - that's working memory, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yes.

Josh Clark

And long-term is reference memory.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, but as far as reference goes, they couldn't remember it that well if there was a big break in between.

Josh Clark

Right. Roberts actually wrote a very famous paper as far as animal cognition goes where he basically said that he concluded animals are stuck in time, and I just made air quotes for those of you out there listening in podcast land. And by stuck in time, it means that they live exclusively in the present, but they don't have the capacity performing long-term episodic memory.

Chuck Bryant

Episodic is the key word.

Josh Clark

It is very much the key word.

Chuck Bryant

Because I know at home, you're saying, "No, I taught my dog to sit when she was one." That's not the same thing. That's what we were talking about with the baby learning how to walk.

Josh Clark

Right. But that's not - there's a lot of examples out there in nature that would kind of belie Dr. Roberts' idea that animals or dogs are stuck in time.

Chuck Bryant

Let's hear it.

Josh Clark

Well, a good one is squirrels foraging food -

Chuck Bryant

Stocking up for the winter.

Josh Clark

- to store for the winter and doing it year after year after year. I believe Roberts actually addressed that and says, "But they continue hoarding even when their stores inexplicably disappear," which I assume some researchers went and stole squirrels' nuts and then studied them to see what they would do. I don't understand that at all.

Chuck Bryant

I don't either. It seems like that would make them want to hoard.

Josh Clark

Yeah. So I kind of have an issue with that one a little bit, but it's possible I'm not entirely seeing that point all the way.

Chuck Bryant

I don't see the point. I'm not quite sure what he meant there.

Josh Clark

But there's also one about the bananas, right, Chuck? There were some primates that were given choices between more or less bananas.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. And, predictably, at first, if you offered an ape one banana or two bananas, they're gonna take the two bananas. But they found that when they started increasing the number of bananas, like, 10 compared to 20, they would just go for the 10 bananas. They wouldn't - and he thought this meant they have no concept of the future, like, "Maybe I should take these bananas because I might be hungry tomorrow."

Josh Clark

Right. Now, I think Roberts fails to take into account social structure, right?

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

We know that we could use 10 bananas for tomorrow, but we also have things like preservation techniques or refrigeration available to us.

Chuck Bryant

That's what I thought, too.

Josh Clark

And if you go back in time just a few thousand years ago to hunter-gatherer societies, or even hunter-gather societies that are around now, they don't store food at all. They forage for what they need right then, and that's what they eat. I would imagine that that would actually explain a lot of the primate decisions. There's no real reason to. Their society isn't set up on this idea that I need more and more to protect myself in the future.

Chuck Bryant

Exactly.

Josh Clark

I don't know that that necessarily means that they don't have any concept of the future. I think that there's all these other explanations out there.

Chuck Bryant

Right. And they may, like, when I read that, the first thing I thought was maybe they've never taken more than 10 bananas in their life because they've never needed to, so it doesn't even dawn on them that that should be something they would do.

Josh Clark

Exactly. I guess what we're saying - both of us are on the same page here - there are other explanations.

Chuck Bryant

I agree.

Josh Clark

And I think one of the things I took from this article was that Roberts found it conclusive that animals are stuck in time by cherry-picking some studies here.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, we kind of disagree with them.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

There's a lot of other factors. I know that my dog, Lucy, is stuck in time at 5:30 p.m. every day because she's always asking for the food.

Josh Clark

So I guess another problem - it's entirely possible, Chuck, that our brains just aren't big enough. They're not as big as Roberts' brain.

Chuck Bryant

Maybe.

Josh Clark

Did you ever hear that goldfish have an eight-second memory span?

Chuck Bryant

I'd never heard that.

Josh Clark

I have.

Chuck Bryant

You have a goldfish in your cube.

Josh Clark

I do have a goldfish here.

Chuck Bryant

Very cutie.

Josh Clark

Yeah, Molly. She's very cute.

Chuck Bryant

It's named Molly? I didn't know that.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Interesting.

Josh Clark

But having an episodic memory makes it almost impossible to think about not having one. So, like, if a goldfish does have a memory of eight seconds, does it mean that every eight seconds, all of its memories are purged, like getting rid of the browser history in your computer; or, as new experiences come into the present, are older ones pushed out after they hit this eight-second maturity level?

Chuck Bryant

Right. And how do they test that on a goldfish anyway?

Josh Clark

Perfect, Chuck, perfect segue. Here's the biggest problem: Roberts' position is almost inherently speciesist. Are you familiar with this term?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

This is a legitimate term. I'm not making this up.

Chuck Bryant

Animals have no souls.

Josh Clark

Animals don't have souls. It's impossible for an animal, like a dog, to be happy because that's a secondary emotion, and dogs are self-aware enough. There's a competing explanation for all this. Speciesists tend to rely very strictly or remain very strictly within the structure provided by the scientific method.

Chuck Bryant

And all his studies here, he probably came at it from that frame of mind, too.

Josh Clark

Sure, right. But there's another way of looking at it, and that is that humans simply haven't come up with tests that are clever enough to get definitive proof that an animal can experience happiness or is aware of time, the future, the past, that kind of thing. You can take that way too far, like, after test after test after test that proves the opposite, you could still conceivably say, well, there's a test out there that we haven't come up with yet that proves that they can.

Chuck Bryant

Right, right.

Josh Clark

But I think that the testing that has been done is very much below that threshold so far. I don't think we have a clue what animals are capable of as far as consciousness goes because we have such a loose grasp on our own consciousness.

Chuck Bryant

Sure. And we certainly can't delve into an animal's brain and see what they think, and they can't tell us anything. I guarantee you one thing. I bet you Dr. Roberts is not a dog owner.

Josh Clark

Agreed.

Chuck Bryant

Agreed, because you have dogs, dude. And I guarantee you we're gonna get tons of mail from people saying, "Are you kidding? My dog displays emotion every day." And, you know, I guess Cesar, the Dog Whisperer, might say, "You're putting your human construct on the dog's frame of mind."

Josh Clark

Yeah, anthropomorphizing.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. I don't know, man. My dog is - they're both pretty emotional.

Josh Clark

Well, yeah. Anthropomorphizing is the go-to ammunition for speciesists. And I don't mean to say that anybody who's saying, like, "No, animals can't be happy because it's secondary emotion, and they lack that sense of self-awareness that's required to experience a secondary emotion," is a speciesist, but the two often go hand in hand. And it's really interesting that there's a line drawn right now between people who think animals don't have a soul and people who think animals can be happy and all the implications that come with that.

Chuck Bryant

Jerry, I bet you think your dog has a soul, right?

Josh Clark

Jerry's saying yes.

Chuck Bryant

Jerry just gave the sweetest face and nodded yes.

Josh Clark

So I feel like Chuck and I just opened a big old can of worms, so we'll see how this plays out in the emails, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

If you want to read more about dogs perceiving time, to answer the question, according to Roberts, no, dogs don't perceive time; time's a human construct consisting of a past, present and future, and dogs pretty much live in the present. Chuck and I don't necessarily agree with that one. You can go on and type in, "Dogs perceive time" in the handy search bar at HowStuffWorks.com.Since I just said that, it means it's time for a whole mess of listener mail.

Chuck Bryant

You were right. Josh, this is - we're just gonna call this Muppet mail. And we are gonna go on a little longer than usual with our mail because the Muppet podcast, I think we will all agree, was sort of a sea-change episode.

Josh Clark

And plus, we just wanna see how long this background music actually goes for.

Chuck Bryant

I know. I mean, we literally got better response from the Muppet Show episode than anything we've ever done, I would say. Wouldn't you?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

The Henson Company twittered about it.

Josh Clark

Yeah. Heather Henson - we should say our colleague and friend Jonathan Strickland of TechStuff fame, his sister -

Chuck Bryant

His sister knows Heather Henson.

Josh Clark

- is friends with Heather Henson, and it went viral, thanks to him.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, that's awesome.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

So we got great response. It's clear that everyone loves the Muppets, and so I wanted to go just through a few of these because I didn't want to just do one.Quickly, before we start - and we never do this - but a guy sent me an email, and it kind of touched a chord with me. So I want to quickly give a shout-out for Joe to Beth in Elwood, Indiana. And Joe just wants to say that he thinks that you are a pretty cool chick, Beth.

Josh Clark

Chuck, are you playing matchmaker? Is that why you're wearing nothing but a diaper and, you know, those wings on your back?

Chuck Bryant

I'm not saying. But Beth in Elwood, Joe thinks you're a cool chick, and so do we because she actually sent us an Alien Henson drum video, which rocked.

Josh Clark

Cool.

Chuck Bryant

It was good. I'll show it to you.

Josh Clark

Yeah, please.

Chuck Bryant

A quick couple of things that we didn't mention in corrections, first of all. I mistakenly referred to the Children's Television Workshop as the Children's Television Network, so Igoofed that one.

Josh Clark

You were thinking of Home Shopping Network for kids.

Chuck Bryant

I was. We did not mention every Muppet movie. We did not mention every Muppet venture because there are too, too many.

Josh Clark

No. I want to elucidate on this. We did that on purpose. First of all, we mentioned the three that were in theatrical release.

Chuck Bryant

Directed by Jim Henson.

Josh Clark

Yes. And by first of all, I mean that's it.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

So a lot of people said, "Well, how could you not mention, 'Muppets Christmas Carol'?" And we wanted to mention everything, but we would have been sitting here reading things all day long about "The Dark Crystal" and other Muppet ventures. So we chose to only do the Henson ones.

Josh Clark

Which I have to say "Dark Crystal," that creeps me out still, to this day.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, and that was Henson, too, because I know people are gonna write in and say, "That was Henson," but get over it.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

We had a guy named Peter write in, and he told us about the Muppet Whatnot Workshop.

Josh Clark

Yeah, at -

Chuck Bryant

It's in New York.

Josh Clark

- not Goldman Sachs - at -

Chuck Bryant

FAO Schwarz.

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

And you can go to New York City, and you could do it online, but I looked, and it's down right now, but -

Josh Clark

I think it's just around Christmastime or the holidays.

Chuck Bryant

No. They got bought out by Toys R Us, I think, so that's down right now. But you can still go to New York. You can go to the Muppet workshop, and you can build your own whatnot.

Josh Clark

At Goldman Sachs.

Chuck Bryant

It costs about 100 bucks, and he sent me a picture of he and his little cute daughter with her Muppet whatnot, so we want to thank Peter for that. And, actually, God, I'm going on and on, but Peter had one of the big Fu Manchu mustaches like me.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Did I tell you about this?

Josh Clark

No.

Chuck Bryant

And I said, "Very cool, Peter. Thanks for sending this." I said, "It looks like you picked up a mustache while you were there." And he wrote back and said, "No. I got that at the Sam Elliott Supply Center down the street," or something like that.

Josh Clark

Nice, nice.

Chuck Bryant

So Peter's a fine [inaudible].

Josh Clark

Peter packed a picnic supper.

Chuck Bryant

So that is all for the corrections. Now we have a few emails.

Josh Clark

Oh, my God.

Chuck Bryant

"Josh and Chuck, I just listened to "How Muppets Worked." I was excited to hear you talk about it because you mentioned the costume designer for Miss Piggy, who happens to be my Aunt Calista."

Josh Clark

Oh, wow.

Chuck Bryant

"If you look up the Muppet movie, you can see her in the costume and wardrobe department on IMDB. She worked closely with Henson, and I've actually seen a picture of her with Jim Henson setting up some Muppets in "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas." She left the Muppets, I think when Jim Henson died, but we still see her once a year." That's from Sam. And Josh is, in fact, eating a Reese's Cup.On to the next one: "Hi, guys. Love your recent podcast. I was listening and thought I would mention that Jim Henson studied Muppetology at University of Maryland. I know this because I went to school there, and there is a Jim Henson Studies program, and it is our claim to fame. I didn't know he went to my school until I went there, and there is actually a little bench, a statue. It's a bench with Henson sitting on it and Kermit sitting on the back of the bench, and they're kind of holding hands."

Josh Clark

That is beyond cute.

Chuck Bryant

It is very cute. And she also says that - this is from Leisha - that they have the rights to "It Ain't Easy Being Green" and "Rainbow Connection," so -

Josh Clark

Uh oh.

Chuck Bryant

Their marching band actually plays that.

Josh Clark

University of Maryland, the Terps?

Chuck Bryant

Terps, yeah. Go, Terps. Moving on -

Josh Clark

Man, listen to this background music, Chuck. It is never-ending.

Chuck Bryant

I know, I know, I know. We compared the Muppet Show to 30 Rock. And Phil of Lynden, Washington, has this to say: "I was trying to imagine what Sesame Street would look like in real life, two little boys getting their own apartment, a giant bird that sleeps behind garbage cans, a few scattered seemingly sensible adults who really have no jobs and nothing else to do."

Josh Clark

No, Mr. Hooper had a store.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, that's true. "Finally, it hit me while working my job as a special-ed classroom assistant. It is one big government-operated group home facility for special-needs children and adults. Think about it. Bert displays classic Asperger syndrome. They share a bedroom and obviously have some adult taking care of the rest of their house. Oscar is schizophrenic with his mood swings and a worm as a best friend, as is Big Bird with his imaginary friend -" was it Snuffleupagus?

Josh Clark

Uh huh.

Chuck Bryant

"And tell me Grover's not dealing with severe ADHD and Cookie Monster for manic bipolar tendencies and the jobless adults, Gordon, Susan and Bob." So that's from Phil.

Josh Clark

Are they jobless adults or the caregivers?

Chuck Bryant

He says they're jobless adults. I've got two more. Jerry's laughing at how long this is going, but I warned her. "I was listening to your fantastic podcast, and I had to write in. I am getting married at the Henson soundstage next year."

Josh Clark

Sweet.

Chuck Bryant

So cool. He and his wife-to-be toured the soundstage. "It was like being behind the scenes at the Muppet show. We are honored as the first wedding ever to be hosted there." And I asked him - I wrote him back, just, like, "Dude, what's the hookup?" And he had none. He just asked. They rent it out to people apparently for things, and no one's ever thought to have a wedding.

Josh Clark

Wow.

Chuck Bryant

And that is from - he gave us some facts, but we don't have time for that. That is from Dan of TDFIllustration.com because he's a cool artist. I wanted to plug that from Dan.And, finally, Josh, from Jake in New Port Richey, Florida, says, "I was an accident of the '80s, and I missed the Muppet heyday, but I was lucky enough to have three older sisters and parents who had the foresight to ensure that they taped several seasons of the Muppet Show." So Jake is a big fan of the Muppets now, and he told us this fact, which I did not know: "Since Jim Henson's death, Rowlph the dog has not spoken and is seldom used. And it's my understanding that they do this out of reverence to Mr. Henson because Rowlph was his favorite Muppet."

Josh Clark

Oh, yeah, yeah. Chuck just wiped away a tear.

Chuck Bryant

Teary eye.

Josh Clark

You sweet old softie.

Chuck Bryant

So that's Muppet mail. We got hundreds of pieces of mail and good blog response, and thanks for sending them in. That was a good show.

Josh Clark

Yeah. And we'll try to keep you supplied with more good shows in the future. If you want to send an email and try to make Chuck cry - it's not that hard - you can send it to stuffpodcast@howstuffworks.com.

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