Monday, December 6, 2010

Just how much English can dogs understand, anyway?

I took Dahlia for a nice long walk in the early part of the afternoon yesterday.  We got back around 2:30pm and I thought perhaps that might be enough for her, especially as 6:00pm rolled around and then 7:00pm with no dog telling us she wanted to go out for a walk.

And then at 7:38pm, while I was resting comfortably in my recliner, wrapped in my bathrobe and electric blanket and ordering a few last minute Christmas gifts on my laptop, I felt like someone was watching me.

I peeked around the corner of my laptop and there sat Dahlia.  As soon as she saw me notice her, she sat up a little bit straighter and smacked her paw down on my foot.  This is, for those who do not know our dog, her signal that she wants to go for a walk.

"Not this late, Dahlia!" I cried.  "It's dark and snowing like crazy."

Her head cock to the side clearly said "Yes"

She hadn't done some of her...erm..."business" earlier in the day and so I assumed that she needed to go out and do this, so I stood up and told her, in no uncertain terms: "Dahlia, you better not drag me around the neighborhood and not poop.  In fact, if you need to, you better find a spot quick so we can get back out of the snow."

So there were two conditions that she must meet on our walk: (1) She must poop.  (2) She must poop quickly and not insist on a 45 minute walk just to find the exact right spot to leave her "present" (which will immediately get picked up and brought home with us unless she poops on the jackass's lawn who lets his dogs out so they can poop on other people's lawns).

Do you really think I expected her to understand what I said?  Of course not!  But what happened made me shake my head in amazement.

We headed out in our usual direction, took a left at the first block and then she did something unexpected.  Instead of heading down toward the park, she turned to walk around the block.  Just a short walk?  Around the block?  No way.  This never happens.  Not with my dog at least!

And then, even more amazingly, she found a spot right around the corner, did her business, and finished the loop back around to our place.  All told, we were out for 15 minutes.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I swear this dog understands every single word I say.

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