Col­lec­tor’s dogged determination

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

ADRIAN Franklin is to col­lect­ing what Dr Karl Kruszel­nicki is to sci­ence: both are tall, be­spec­ta­cled and great sto­ry­tellers.

Bri­tish by birth but a Tas­ma­nian since 1991, Prof Franklin sits along­side Andy Muir­head on The Col­lec­tors panel each Fri­day and dis­cusses all things col­lectable.

Franklin, like Kruszel­nicki, has an in­sa­tiable ap­petite for knowl­edge. And it stretches well be­yond the bound­aries of col­lect­ing.

Franklin is re­search­ing the pre­cise na­ture of the re­la­tion­ships hu­mans have with dogs.

He feels dogs are adept at cre­at­ing friend­ships and re­la­tion­ships. They can, and do, ‘‘train’’ us.

They can read hu­man fa­cial ex­pres­sions much bet­ter than hu­mans and can read fa­cial ex­pres­sions up­side down— some­thing we strug­gle to do.

‘‘We al­ready know that if you have a dog, your chances of re­cov­ery from a heart at­tack are much greater than if you don’t and you’ll spend less time go­ing to the doc­tor.

‘‘Hav­ing a dog low­ers our blood pres­sure and stress.’’

Ac­cord­ing to Franklin’s cal­cu­la­tions, if every­one had a dog, there would be a 7 per cent re­duc­tion in health costs.

‘‘Our re­la­tion­ships with hu­mans are ‘un­til fur­ther no­tice’. Sta­tis­ti­cally you are go­ing to split up with the next per­son you meet, but that’s not the case with dogs.’’

Franklin, who lives with a stan­dard poo­dle, Coco, the ‘‘love fo­cus’’ of every­one in his fam­ily, is also im­mersed in his work on Col­lec­tors.

He has im­mense re­spect for those who col­lect and is quick to re­ject the no­tion that a col­lec­tor is a po­lite way of de­scrib­ing a hoarder.

‘‘There’s a big dif­fer­ence. A hoarder is some­one who buys things in the usual way, but can’t throw any­thing away,’’ Franklin says.

Col­lec­tors, he says, have quite clearly de­fined pa­ram­e­ters.

Any­thing can be col­lected and he de­lights in see­ing peo­ple be­come ‘‘mini pro­fes­sors’’ in their area of in­ter­est.

‘‘Even seem­ingly mun­dane items can tell us a story about our his­tory and cul­ture, and to­gether it be­comes some­thing great,’’ he says.

My favourite things: Adrian Franklin loves col­lec­tors and dogs.

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