Good Dog-in-Training

Some people think dogs are just dumb animals. Others think dogs are probably smarter than humans. I think they're somewhere in between. Much like people. We have Harvard-grad brilliance in some folks, and then we have Paris Hilton.

My Mags has streaks of genius, followed by bouts of stupidity (or at least ridiculous obsessiveness, such as her way of standing at our wooden fence with her nose through a hole, sniffing and snorting for hours on end in an effort to detect bunnies).

She knows how to shake paw, and then put it down and shake other paw. She knows what w-a-l-k means and, therefore, we shouldn't say it aloud in her presence. She can sense when we have hot dogs in the fridge and hovers in the kitchen hoping to snarf. She knows come and sit and lie down (that last, she picked up one night thanks to our babysitter, who we believe may have missed her true calling as a dog whisperer).

She must have been well-bred, because she acts just like a Westie should act when confronted with mice and birds and vermin (nevermind she thinks cute kittens fall into this category also). She loves her Henry and would sleep with him every night if he'd let her (but she tends to be a cover hog and wants to sleep on his feet, which he does not appreciate).

She fetches. Sort of. She'll run after stuff and bring it back, but she isn't always so keen on letting go and giving back. And her interest in the fetch game lasts about 5 minutes. Probably because she thinks whatever it is she was fetching is now good and dead, and she's off to murder some other furry thing.

We love her. Even when she's yapping too much or chewing up dirty underclothes and stashing them under the bed or waking us up at 2 a.m. to patrol the yard. Well, I'm not sure Tim loves her at that point, but I love her so he'll tolerate her nonsense. I miss spending my days at home with her, the way I did when I was freelancing for a couple years. She wasn't a big fan of my laptop. It was always sitting where she wanted to be.

I was thinking it'd be fun to take her to another training class to see if she'd pick up new tricks and learn a little more obedience. I'd like to think, if she could talk, she'd say in her best Jack Nicholson: "You make me want to be a better dog."

Maybe I could show her this video, too. It's a Scottie pup doing tricks...and being so calm and well-mannered. I can't imagine Mags -- even out of the puppy stage -- could manage such fine behavior. But you never know. That whole old dog/new trick thing.

I wonder what class we'd have to take to get her to learn that my Victoria's Secret items do not belong in a pile with her tennis ball and rawhide bones.


emawkc said...

Hey, another dog post! (I just did one myself).

Must be the dog days of summer.

AnneR said...

Maggie is a delightful little creature, even if she does have an appetite for other delightful little creatures. I admire her focus--if I had that focus, my house would be clean and I would be thin.

Anonymous said...

We love Maggie, too. Dad is convinced that she is particularly fond of him, since she parks herself on his lap a good deal of the time whenever we're there! (Of course his lap is available a good deal of the time we're there!)