Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A dog making decisions

“Honey,” my husband called quietly and calmly from the couch, trying to avoid capturing the dog’s attention. “Look at your dog.”
I spun around just in time to watch as Sensi dragged his microfiber blanket over to his play spot. He was holding on to it gently but firmly and placed it right where he wanted it — over top of his pile of decapitated stuffed animals, chewed up cardboard boxes and badly mangled empty water bottles.
He then snuggled up and cast a precious glance of content my way before drifting off to sleep.
“What the heck?” I asked Brent, my husband. “I’ve never seen him do that before.”
“Me neither,” Brent told me. “He grabbed it from the couch and dragged it all the way over there.”
The blanket, a microfiber throw I got on sale for $7 during one of Kohl’s fantastic day-after-Thanksgiving sales, had been nestled up into the corner of our couch. It’s one of Sensi’s beloved items. I bought it for him because, for years, he’d been hogging our microfiber blankets. Nothing else seemed to compared to the softness of the microfiber and trust me, my dog knows his blankets. It had to be the same as ours.
The dog grabbed the blanket by its corner, holding it gently in his mouth, and dragged it off the couch, past the television set and over to the other side of the living room. Behind the television is an open spot that Sensi has pretty much made “his spot.” Every toy he plays with will wind up in a neat little pile in the middle of the floor there.
But never had he brought his blanket to his spot. In fact, he’s never before picked up a blanket and brought it anywhere.
I think this shows a couple things about dogs.
First, not only can an old dog learn a new trick, but an old dog can even teach himself a new trick.
Secondly, I think it says a thing or two about decision making in our dogs.
Brent and I are used to watching as Sensi makes decisions about where to lay down. We even know he will dig at the dog bed, rearrange the throw pillows on the couch and tuck his head under blankets to move them around as he desires.
But in this situation, he actually decided he want an item from point A to physically move to point B and arranged a sleeping situation for himself that didn’t even exist before he created the scenario in his mind and then took steps to make his thought a reality.
For a dog, it’s really quite incredible.
Of course, he might’ve just been trying to cover up his stash of broken toys to save them from the ominous garbage can. Who knows, really?


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  2. Reminds me of Peanuts' Linus, who loved his blanket!