Tuesday, 1 March 2011

How Much Brain does Sneaky Require?

Do I anthropomorphize my dogs? Oh, probably a little. (I had to look up the spelling of that word, by the way, I wouldn't want anyone to think I am that smart.) I try not to, but sometimes their actions are far more human than animal.
From Recently Updated
This is a picture of the bad boys on my bed with their bone collection. The weaselly Dewey, who is extremely camera shy, has "the" bone and Corky was hovering in anticipation until I appeared at the door. My story is an example of how sneaky Dewey is, and you tell me if I'm reading too much into it.
The two dogs have a collection of cow hooves any boneyard would envy. But the only important hoof is whichever one the other dog has. This afternoon, Corky had "the" bone and was gnawing away merrily on the love seat, while Dewey stood in the middle of the floor and tried to figure out how to get it. You could almost see the wheels turning in his fuzzy little head. Then, he ran over to me, minding my business at my computer, and put his little paws on my knees, for some very uncharacteristic attention. Corky is very jealous if Dewey gets attention and he immediately jumped down and ran over to shove Dewey out of the way. Dewey immediately ran over and got the love seat and "the" cow hoof.
Corky has only been here for two weeks and Dewey has already twigged to the fact that he's jealous. You might think I'm reading too much into that little comedy and I'd agree if I hadn't seen Dewey pull something similar with Miss Twice, but he changed his methods to suit her personality.
If Twice had a bone, she wouldn't care how much I snuggled with Dewey, but she took her duties as guard dog very seriously. When she had "the" bone, Dewey would run over to the door and bark his intruder bark, again very uncharacteristic, and of course, she'd jump down and run to bark at whatever he heard and he'd run over and steal the bone. I can't remember how many times she'd fall for that trick, but it worked every time.
I can't believe that instinct has anything to do with Dewey's con, nor is it something he has learned, like a chimp learns to use a stick as a tool. Not when he changes his methods to suit the circumstances. And I don't really care. All I know is that he is one of the strangest, funniest dogs I've ever had and he and Corky are pure comedy interacting with each other. Great medicine!


  1. I think some dogs have the ability to "read" the critters (both human and animal) around them and tailor their actions to suit, as Dewey does. Sounds like he and Corky keep you laughing which more than makes them worth their keep :)

  2. That's so cute! Dogs understand more than some people think, and smart, so very smart.