Friday, 20 April 2012

No, I'm not going mad

Although I rather suspect many visitors will come to the opposite conclusion when I say that I am convinced my dog has a sense of humour.  And no, I am not in the habit of anthropomorphising dogs - or any other animal for that matter.  But let me explain.

Fern, my dog (or, to be more accurate, my wife's dog) is an 8-year-old English springer spaniel.

Granted, this picture was taken a few years back but she still looks basically the same and still holds up her right front paw when asking for something - like a treat.

Fern and I spend somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours walking every day, in our local park, through the woods or over the South Downs.  On some walks she is in the habit of carrying a tennis ball which, from time to time, she drops in the hope that I will throw it for her.  She has never learned to drop the ball at my feet or to put it in my hand.  To be honest, I never bothered to train her to do that.  Anyway, she is more of a sniffer dog than a retriever of game.  So when we are walking in Stanmer woods she will go off the path a little way and drop the ball, usually about two or three yards into the trees.  She then goes further and lies down waiting for me to get the ball and throw it.

This is where her sense of humour comes in.  Sometimes Fern will drop the ball in such a way that it is hidden from me and I have to search for it.  I have yet to work out if this is done by accident or if it is a deliberate ploy on her part, either because she gets a kick out of watching me search or she thinks I enjoy the game.  Other times she will drop the ball in an obvious place, wait for me to approach it and then dash in to scoop it up just as I bend down to pick it up.  I swear she is smiling as she does it!  OK, you may think I'm mad, but I am convinced she does this to tease me, thereby showing she has a sense of humour.

2 comments:

The Broad said...

She probably learned that trick from her owner ... -)

Stephen Hayes said...

My vote: This dog does have a sense of humor. We had a dog that would get embarrassed and hide her head if she failed to do something cool after soliciting our attention.