29.08.2010 19:04 - Dumb and Dumber
There are clever dogs, and there are cleverer dogs. A clever dog is one that learns quickly. A cleverer dog is not one that learns quicker than a clever dog. It is a dog that has learned the value of learning something, but not demonstating it to it's Master. Take, for example, Bob, my parent's last dog. Bob was a golden retriever crossed with a bearded collie, or something even furrier. Bob played the dumb blonde to the hilt, giving you big dumb "hello, I'm stupid" looks with his tongue lolling out. Bob, however, was definitely smarter than the average dog. For example : he had been taught that anything on a table, no matter how low, did not belong to him. Anything on the floor, however, was fair game.
One day I put a chewy stick on the coffee table, meaning to give it to him a bit later. Bob knew he couldn't have it, and so he asked for it. He did this by tapping the table with his paw. I pretended to ignore him the first time. Bob stared at me, and when he was absolutely sure that I wasn't paying attention, he tapped the table with his paw again. Only this time, he made sure that his paw came down on top of the chewy stick, and slid it off onto the floor.
Not only could Bob knock things onto the floor, he was also quite capable of opening doors. But, and here's the rub, he made sure that he never demonstrated the fact to us. For years, every night when we went to the pub, we'd put him in the bedroom in his basket, and shut the door. Without fail, when we returned, he would be sitting at the top of the stairs. Accusations flowed, that someone hadn't shut the door properly, until one night, during a very bad storm, with thunder and lightning. I was sitting on the toilet, when the door handle started going. This spooked me somewhat, as I was alone in the house with Bob. I unlocked the door to peak out, only to have it pushed open by a very insistent -and terrified- dog, whose only thought was to get close to the nearest water source possible. Bob' secret was out. It wasn't his only secret, though, and that was discovered a couple of days later. Bob was never allowed on the sofa. Unfortunately for him, I returned home early, and discovered him lying on the sofa. Anyone who tells you that a dog can't look embarassed doesn't know what they're talking about.
After that, we put a lock on the fridge.