I am exposed to lots of people and lots of animals at pet stores, pet fundraising events and through my consultations, which are mostly done on the telephone. Once in awhile i have a client in my downtown Portland officeusually without the animal. Sometimes a picture is brought. In fact, I am sure that I meet with hundreds of people and pets every year. I have seen and heard enough to know that I haven’t all the stories that there are to hear. There is a delight in watching humans talk about their furry and feathery friends. Sometimes the things that people think are unique are rather common place. For example, one woman giggled as she told me about a ferret who removed silverware from the drawer and hid it behind a piece of furniture in her living room. This ferret is not the only ferret to hide things. When I shared this story with another ferret lover, I was met with a gleeful look in the eyes and a big,big smile. “Mine hides things too.”
I am not sure why people believe that just because they have never heard an animal doig what their beloved one does, that other animals don’t show similar abilities and intelligence. Perhaps people want to beliee that their friend/friends are unique and special.
Last night I heard another story that i am sure that someone has told me before perhaps not in exactly the same way. It was truly delightful even if I possibly heard it for the second or third time.. Marsha brought in her little white dog to Pets on Broadway to talk with me about obsessive behavior. The barking and growling at friends and strangers alike was disturbing to Marsha. The searching for food when the little furry one had eaten her food seemed over the top to Marsha. By the way, the little one is called Lucy. Marsha and I talked for a few minutes , and were about ready to end the consultation. What sounded like an afterthought “Lucy plays hide and seek.” Well, now I had to hear more.
I already knew that Lucy is smart. She is a bichon. It is in her nature. So, here is how the game goes. Marsha takes small pieces of dried pet food and leaves a trail of food that leaves a bigger piece of food under something. Of curse Lucy found the food. a iittle later that day or the following day Lucy began barking . Marsha was sure that Lucy was trying to tell her something so she followed her into the room where she had the food for her the previous day. However, Lucy, unlike Marsha, hadn’t bother to leave a trail of food. She went right to the pillow, barked at it, tugged at it and and pt her snout under it and pulled out a bone!!