Though this post will mostly interest those of you who rely on TDITC to keep you up to date on science, it might also interest those of you who were reading this blog last year and recall the tragic onset of TMDS in Roo. While TMDS (Tadmouse Derangement Syndrome) afflicted only one dog, the scale and force of the illness on the sufferer, and especially its effects on her caregiver, elevated it to epidemic status in the scientific community.
Early research suggested that TMDS had effects on the serotonin, endorphin and dopamine centers of the brain, with a force equivalent to approximately 100,000 doses of the benchmark crystal methamphetamine manufactured in the Walter White laboratories in New Mexico. The $75 million allotted to a combined team of Agriculture Department veterinary psychiatrists, Office of Naval Reconnaissance canine brain scientists and the Ringling Bros. Circus was inexplicably curtailed under the present administration. GAO records furnished in response to FOIA requests indicate that the remainder was transferred, with school lunches and volcano monitoring, to the Presidential Golfing and Russian-Language Study Expenses accounts of the newly legislated emoluments disbursements line of the FY 2018 federal budget, dimming all hopes for clear answers and dashing any hope of a cure.
One of the most disturbing effects of TMDS is the psychological condition it seems to produce on a biochemical level in the brains of the daddies of the afflicted, causing the utterance of repeated promises in the period leading up to tadmouse season that the dog will be returned to tadmouse waters. These in turn cause a classical feedback loop in which the dog’s doleful looks reinforce a profound sense of guilt, which then drive virtually all of the daddy’s energies in fulfillment of the dog’s expectations. The colder the winter and the smaller the camper in which it is endured when those guarantees are made, the more virulent the disease becomes. The status of clinical thought, therefore, was that the lives of TMDS sufferers could only be expected to spiral further out of control.
This may, however, be incorrect. As with many illnesses, the discovery of a cure was stumbled on in nature, a cure that, like a vaccine, draws on the cause of the illness itself to provide immunity.
The cure was discovered by Roo K. Beker when she finally caught a tadmouse. The slimy taste and feel of the tadmouse instantly alerted her to the inadvisability of further pursuing the tadmouse.
Follow-up treatment may be necessary, but for the time being, at least, it looks like Roo, and I, can say that we are recovering TMDS victims. It is a little melancholy, in the way recovering alcoholics at AA meetings describe all the fun they used to have drinking, even though they know that their newfound abstinence is the only way forward.