Tuesday, September 18, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 18 - Animal Instincts

I hadn't really planned for the "photo a day" and the "30 days of gratitude" to be the same subjects, but it has kind of worked out that way.

The photo is of Connor, the German Shepherd at our office. He's one of Dave's dogs, the other being Jojo. When Jojo sees one of us coming, she'll flip over on her back, displaying her tummy for a tummy rub. It gets her lots of attention, and I think Connor has been watching that. Recently he's started doing the same thing, flopping over on his side and rolling to his back, trying to look cute. He is cute, but he's a big guy, and it's kind of funny to see him doing it. But it does, of course, get him a treat and a tummy rub, so his strategy is working.

I'm always surprised when animals learn something on their own, i.e., not a trick that they've been taught, but something that they figure out on their own.

I remember Pyewacket figuring out how to make the dry food in the automatic feeder come down and fill the bowl when it got stuck. Dinah still hasn't figured that one out. But Dinah has figured out that patting me on the face with her paw in the middle of the night is a sure-fire way of waking me up when she wants to be cuddled. Nothing else, except maybe throwing up, gets quite as immediate a reaction.

Of course, all the dogs at work are now conditioned to show up in the morning at each of the offices that have treats for them--or is it us that are conditioned? I think that's more likely.

I'm grateful for all of the animals in my life that give me so much joy. Our lives would be dull and boring without them, I think.

Photo: 9/18: Animal Instincts