Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Rack, you are an over eager dingus.

Dogs are funny creatures.  They just want to please.  In fact I will say that humans probably don't deserve them.  The number of people who abandon dogs in places because (Insert Lame Excuse Here) is too damn high.

Mine is no exception.  Rack is a McNab SuperDog (TM).  I phrase it that way because every time I doubt what he's onto, there's a reason for it.

We got him before the little speaking discs became easy to find.  If we had them, he'd take to them immediately.  Even at 12 years old, I'm thinking it may be worthwhile to get a starter set and see what we can get him to say. 

Mind you this is a smallish house, and adding more things to it will just make the place sink into the ground more.

But the idea of having your dog tell you what they want is not uncommon.  I have said many times that I don't teach him tricks, I teach him behaviors. 

He has specific routes, and he knows what they area called, and he will pursue them once started.  If I don't "set" the route when we leave the house, he will take us to the block behind the house, walk to a specific property at a specific spot, then turn around and go home.

That doesn't always work for us, but I do have the ability to say "This Way" and it tells him we have a change of plans coming up.  If I say "The Drive" it's a specific route and we go to Wilton Drive based on the direction he is heading at the moment to complete the route.

At the front door, he has to get his leash.  It is attached to a harness that is somewhat complex to get on to him.  He has to have it on his neck then needs to step through it to put it on so that I can latch it secure.  He figured out that since we're doing all of that, he's got to get his foot in the air.  Depending on how excited or awake he is, it can be one pass to get it on, or if he's over stimulated that foot is waving like a piece of grass in a tornado.

Did I say he likes his walks?

He's also learned that mid morning, I tend to let him out.  It's about when I come home from a workout, or when the breakfast has been burned off and I need another 200 calories to "get to lunch".  Being a dog, he has also learned to manipulate me.  About every hour he's up at the back door.  I can tell because he's not here and is back at the door rattling the little bells we have hanging on a rope there.  They're from my sister's wedding and I have a string of them on each door to the house.

However if I am involved or just don't need to get those 200 calories, I can tell him "No, Later" and he stops begging.  Usually he stops for about an hour.  He really does not need to be outside all morning, as there is no source of water back there but the pool and I"d rather he not drink that.  Leaving a bowl out there means I'm breeding mosquitoes so that won't happen.

I suppose that if I were to actually have those little speech buttons, and programmed them and him to speak, I'd have him asking "Out Back" or "Cookie Ball" all the time.  Maybe it is better for domestic tranquility to not have them.  Who knows?

Basically there is a layer of intelligence to a Non Human Animal that we don't know about.  I would say that it is to our loss.  If I can have a conversation with Rack that is primarily non verbal, I suspect that there are other creatures out there that would be talking to us something like Doctor Dolittle.

After all, I've already been told by feral parrots here "Hello!" and "Shut Up!" when I said hello to them.

Now if I could just get the iguanas to leave my hibiscus alone and to move the ducks along, it would be a bonus.

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