Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Search Challenge (5/4/16): Which animals are associated with what professions?

It's time for a bit of fun... 

... and, in truth, a Challenge that's both easy... and pretty hard.  

Here's the key idea for this week.  

As you know, some animals seems to be closely linked to certain professions.  For example, the dalmatian dog is often thought of in connection with firefighters (at least in the US).  If you see a dalmatian dog (the white dog with black spots below), you think of a firefighter. 

There's an interesting reason why that's so, but I'll leave that to you to find out.  

But thinking about this larger question--HOW would you find something that's difficult to express as a search?  

The key of this week's Challenge is to see if we can find a general strategy to discover which animals are linked to particular jobs.  

Here's how I'm going to put this week's Challenge: 

Can you find an animal that's closely linked to a particular profession?  What's the animal?  What's the profession?  And what's the connection? 

I can think of a couple of professions and animal connections (and maybe you can too).  I suspect the more difficult problem here is to come up with a search query that will work to identify such things.  Bear in mind we're looking for a common relationship between an animal and the profession.  

And no, we don't want things like cow / farmer, or snake / snake milker--those are animals that are basically farm animals.  What we're looking for is something like the dog / firefighter relationship--an animal that is a symbol of the profession.

This is easy, in the sense that you probably know a couple of these already... you just have to say what they are. 

But it's hard in that I don't know how to express a query that will find such relationships.  

Can you?  

Be sure to say HOW you found your animal / profession pair.  And if you can, let us know why that animal is linked to that profession.

Search on! 


  1. Labrats comes to mind. Mine anyway. Rats and scientists. jon

  2. Good day, Dr. Russell and everyone.

    Thinking about that found some in my mind: Shepherd dogs, owls with lawyers, cats with magic and things like that. Snake milker is new to me. And yes it is so interesting.

    About Dalmatians, I think connection is now worldwide. We in Mexico don't have dalmatian dog in fire houses but if we ask anybody, dalmatian means that and also the Disney Movie. I believe I can remember some part of the story for this connection. I'll SearchReSearch to be sure and discover new facts.

    [dalmatian firefighter connection]

    dalmatians are still found in many firehouses in England, Canada, and the United States.
    Many results but this one cover all the angles.

    [snake associated with medicine]

    [animals associated to professions] [Jobs associated with animals]

    [animals associated symbols professions]

    The snake as the symbol of medicine, toxicology and toxinology.

    [define toxinology]

    Phoenix and salamander the professional symbols of the firemen?


    [animals symbology professions]

    Webster's Dictionary defines a totem as: "A natural object, usually an animal that serves as a distinctive, often venerated emblem or symbol. A means of personal or spiritual identity."

    [animals as symbols]

    [owls snakes dalmatians]

    1. Just remembered Pigeons. Not so much in use today but they are connected with messages

      [Pigeon letters]

      How do messenger pigeons work?

      [first pigeon letter] Links to Wikipedia article
      Pigeon in History

  3. [dalmatians and firefighters history]
    included for the pic of 'Chief'

    …donkeys, elephants, ducks with limited mobility|politicians… bulls, bears|stockbrokers
    [political parties animals history]
    D & R
    bull moose|TR - used: [bull moose party history meaning]

    Wall Street animals
    WS animal history [wall street animal history]
    a financial menagerie - NPR

    [animals associated with business]
    symbolic meanings in culture… Chinese example

    … first, you need a really tiny stool…
    Scorpion Milking, The University of Arizona

  4. I simply Googled Dalmatians and Firemen and multiple sources came up, but this one summarized it the best:

    They fire engines were horse-drawn, the dogs calmed the horses and provided an alert to passersby to get them out of the way. They also guarded equipment and other items while the firemen were occupied fighting the fire. Wealthy people had used them when they rode in carriages, so firefighters were not the first to use them. Now they mostly serve as mascots, but do perform some practical functions as well.

    Tried several searches for other professions, but had no luck. It is the last week of the semester. This busy librarian has no more time to work on this.

  5. corgis HM Queen Elizabeth bodyguards

  6. Replies
    1. Oh yeah! cats OR dogs librarians relationship OR connection got me to this:

    2. And not just librarians, also bookstores (booksellers would be the profession, I guess):
      Didn't search for this, was mentioned in an entirely different context by friend on Facebook.

  7. First, would sharks and lawyers or corporate raiders count as an assoication?

  8. Doctors and tropical fish
    Drunks and pink elephants
    Police and Alsatian dogs

    Tried [occupation stereotypes animal mascots]
    ["assign animals to professions"]

  9. Replies
    1. I should have known about this one, but I'd forgotten about the undersea sailors. HOW did you find this? (Or did you just know about it?)

  10. a search query that will work to identify such things. Bear in mind we're looking for a common relationship between an animal and the profession.

    Well, like all the others, I could not answer your Challenge either. Tried many times in many ways but the answer seems close but is elusive.

    Good one ! j, who never got past cola miners and canaries

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