I read the newspaper column “Dog Talk” every Sunday. The guy trains and understands our canine friends very well. However, he believes dogs behave only as dogs and that we falsely attribute human emotion to them. Perhaps my dogs, being of the utterly superior boxer breed, are more advanced than your average canine. They seem quite human to me. Some examples:
The other night we were watching TV. Sky, as usual, had staked out the best spot on the carpet to sprawl out. All of a sudden, a doorbell rang–on the TV show. Sky jumped up ready to run to the door–then suddenly stopped, realizing the doorbell sound did not actually come from our doorbell. I’m not kidding–she looked thoroughly embarrassed. She tried saving face by cooly walking over to Big Daddy, like that was her real intention all along, and laid her little boxer head on his lap to be petted. I laughed ’til I cried.
Some days, Sky follows me around like a two-year-old. I’ve read that dogs have an intelligence level equivalent to a toddler. Like toddlers, I’ve found my dogs to be dumb enough to be cute and smart enough to be interesting. But dogs stay this way. Especially when we’ve been gone a lot, Sky won’t let me out of her sight until it becomes annoying. Last week, she actually stood up on her hind legs and wrapped her front paws around my waist. She was hugging me! She’s sooo my baby.
Our first dear departed boxer, Prudence, had a lot more rules to follow than Sky. We didn’t allow her into the formal areas of the house (dining and living rooms) or upstairs into the bedrooms. She was well aware of this and never disobeyed–while we were home. However, more than once, we almost caught her lounging on the living room couch. She would jump off and pretend she’d never been on it when she heard the car pull up. Unfortunately, she was not quite bright enough to brush off the telltale dog hair on the couch cushions or to pick up the pillows she had knocked to the floor in her haste to escape. Sometimes when I came home from work at lunchtime, I would see an old chewed up tissue that she dug out of one of the upstairs wastebaskets. Of course, she’d be sitting in the family room like a saintly pup by the time I got in the door.
Sky loves her toys. She plays with every toy she has. When I first brought home a new pair of jeweled flip-flops, she sniffed around them, not sure if they were for her. I told her “No, those are mommy’s” and she’s never touched them since. She never messes with anything that’s not hers, except to roll around in our dirty wet towels when I’m sorting the laundry. She does love to mess with fluffy little animals, however. She hasn’t physically hurt any of them so far; she’s just scared the crap out of them and their owners. J sent some pictures of the cutest little kitten to our computer. Sky would love this critter, too.