As a puppy, my dog “Elway” went through a rigorous training and discipline program to teach him how to be a good dog. He took a few classes, but mostly he was home schooled. He was taught to respond immediately to orders.
He learned how to sit, to come, and to heel. Nowadays I can snap my fingers and he’ll lay down.
But lately I have begun to see some patterns that are unsettling.
He barks and I let him out.
He barks again and I let him in.
On walks, when he wants to smell something important like a blade of grass he digs in his four paws and I stop. And wait.
When he is hungry he licks my hand and I feed him.
When he wants to walk he nudges my arm and I walk him.
When he sleeps in our bed, he takes up half the mattress. My wife and I get what is left.
So after 56 dog years I have come to the conclusion that he is smarter than he looks.
All those years I wasn’t training Elway; he was training me.