Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dogs who are too smart for their own good

Before our girl dog went to live with a friend, I called our Australian Shepherds the Tailless Terrors.

Nika the Too Smart For Her Own Good

Every day when we came home from work, they had knocked over their food and water bowls and pulled them into the middle of the yard.  I was just waiting for the day the Humane Society would come and take them away, since they were outside all day with no water.  Nevermind the fact that it was entirely their own fault they had no water.  "Whatever," I thought to myself, "dogs knock things over when they play.  It happens.  They're not doing it on purpose."

So I thought.  Until one morning when I was out feeding them, and Nika was more than usually obnoxous about jumping up on me and wrapping me around with her leash.  I stepped on her leash and put a stop to the rowdyness.  The problem was, she could no longer reach the food I had just poured into the bowl?  So what did she do?  Reach her paw out and knock the food over, entirely on purpose.

It was later that we discovered that they had been meticulously removing the fastening pins from their kennel and taking it apart.  Perhaps they considered the kennel a symbol of their captivity.  Perhaps it was their Bastille.  Nika had long ago figured out that if she tangled their tie-out chains enough she'd be able to pop the clip that fastened to her collar and run free, while Sir Gawain barked in rage and frustration and alerted us to the situation, if we were lucky enough to be home at the time.  It was quite a surprise discovering her out and about with her collar perfectly intact that first time.

They dug up an arrowhead during one of their last days together in the yard.  Half of it is gone. Knowing these dogs, I wouldn't be surprised if they had eaten the missing half.

However, we are now oh so thankfully a one-dog family, and I rather feel that we have the easier to control half.  I'll tell you this, though: Sir Gawain is not above pulling his blanket out of his kennel and depositing it at my feet if he wants me to wash it.  How he figured out that I'm the laundry lass I really don't know.  He's not smart enough to figure out that I'm the one opposed to feeding him scraps off our plates, obviously, because he still loves me.

Sir Gawain the Very Expensive and Starry Eyed From Having Choked on a Persian Carpet and Needing Oxygen for 24 Hours

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