ID (Intelligent Dog)

Lucy can be scary sometimes.

Just now sitting here at my computer I heard her do something uncharacteristic—bark like an ordinary stupid dog for no good reason. Normally if she’s just excited about seeing somebody in the next yard she will stand on the deck and wag her tail. If she gets overexcited she may give out with a bark or two and then shut up. But this was a veritable State of the Union speech by her standards.

So I went to the nearest window from which I could see her, and I opened the window so I could speak to her. In a matter-of-fact tone that an ordinary stupid dog would have interpreted as merely attention and therefore a reward, I informed Miss Lucy what I would do if she got into the habit of barking like that—the idea involves going to Petsmart and buying something to put on her.

An ordinary stupid dog would have stood there wagging and hung on every word.

Lucy put her head down and looked penitent. She either not only understands English but can parse compound sentences, or she’s psychic and picked up the mental image of what I was predicting as her fate.