Have You Ever Taken the Time To Think About Your Dog's Behavior?

Cookie is a four-year old Schnauzer, we live together. She is amazing, her intelligence and understanding are sometimes beyond belief. We eat breakfast together every morning at 6:00am. Yes, together, this means I set a plate for her on the table and she jumps on the chair besides me and waits until I start eating before she takes a mouthful. She enjoys coffee too so I put a little coffee into her water bowl every morning and at 3:00 pm when I have mine. After we are finished eating I open the patio door and she goes out to do her business in a corner where she knows she is allowed to do it, when she returns to the house, she closes the door gently with her nose.

She goes about her business until 8:30am when her favorite cartoons start. At this time I am sitting at my desk answering emails or working and she sits beside me patiently waiting for me to rise and turn on the television set in my room. Sometimes I play around with her and ignore her waiting but after a couple of minutes she starts whining softly to get my attention. If there is no reaction from me she will bark until I do what she wants me to do. I have a hard time understanding how but the crazy dog knows how to tell time.

I work until noon when she returns and barks softly to let me know it is lunch time. We walk together to the kitchen and I toss her pieces of fresh tomato and carrots which she eats like candy. After lunch I go back to work and she goes out to the patio again. It is time for her to harass the birds that come to feed and water in our backyard. Up to know, as you can see, she is an almost normal dog; this is where things turn weird again. Her hearing is also beyond amazing. She knows the mailman is coming when he is more than five minutes away because she starts jumping and going crazy trying to get out front. John brings her treats almost every day and she awaits his arrival like it was Christmas.

She sleeps in the other room on her own bed with her own blanket with which she covers herself when it is cold. I have seen her in the middle of the night standing by my bed just staring at me, checking me out, making sure I am okay. Like a mother with her first child, she stays for a few minutes and then goes back to bed. On Saturdays I am surprised again and again and again, my daughter comes to visit with her two children at about 9:00am. At 8:30 she starts pacing and at 8:55, she is by the door waiting. Five to ten minutes later I hear her bark and know the girls will be home in five more minutes because they are coming around the corner. Again, how does she know what time it is? How can she identify a car coming around the corner?

We have underestimated our dog's intelligence and abilities for thousands of years. They are smart and sensitive, they feel our pain and they feel their own pain. It is time that we take a closer look, that we start appreciating our companions and their capabilities. I know of three Irish Setters that bring the cows into the stable for milking at a friend's farm. I know of a German Shepard that walks his owner's child to the bus stop on time every morning and is always waiting for him when the child returns home. I have seen rescue and disaster dogs search for and find live people where there should have not been any survivors and they do not only find them, they try to find a way to get to those people. We all know that seeing dogs guide their masters in the streets, in their homes everywhere and they know exactly what they are doing.

It is time that you pay a little more attention to that magnificent animal you have at home. Who knows, maybe it can read the newspaper for you. It is very important that we all find ways to protect these animals from violence, from racing, from people who do not appreciate their intelligence and most of all their heart. Dogs are noble beasts, they are loving and they are able to sense your happiness and your pain, your worries and everything happening around them. Think about this and the next time your dog is sitting staring at you take the time and scratch him behind the ears while you say something nice to him.