Friday, July 30, 2010

Gus and His Vocabulary......

Gus probably isn't that much smarter than a lot of dogs. He does have quite a vocabulary, though. Besides the obvious "treat" and "out" and "walk," he knows some others too.

One of his favorites is "swimming." He thinks he and Libby are really blood siblings, so he thinks he's a Lab also. He gets in the pool even before Libby does. And if we accidentally leave the back gate open to the pool, he will go out there all by himself and take a little dip. Even Libby doesn't get in the pool if we're not out there. I have fussed and fussed at Gus, because he knows little children aren't supposed to get in the pool alone. He just can't resist.

He also knows the word "clothes." If I say that word, he goes to the basement door. He waits at the top of the stairs to see where I'm going. If I turn left, he just stands there and waits, because it isn't really that exciting to go get laundry out of the washer or the dryer. If I turn right at the bottom of the stairs, though, he goes kind of crazy. Then he knows that I'm about to open the big overhead garage door, and he goes into a barking frenzy. If I do raise the door, he grabs hold of the rope at the bottom of it and hangs on for dear life, riding the rope upward with the door. I guess it's sort of a doggie amusement park ride.

One of his favorite phrases is "time to go to bed." He gets his nightly treat and heads up to the bedroom. Hubby usually goes to bed first, and Gus goes up with him. If I stay downstairs for any length of time, though, he comes back down and lies at my feet until I get ready to go up.

A treat is one thing, but he will dance for "cheese." If I ask Hubby if he wants cheese on his sandwich, I have to spell it, or Gus goes to the refrigerator and refuses to move.

It isn't just words, though. When I come home in the afternoon, if I change into tennis shoes and shorts, he knows we are going to the park. Or he hopes we are. He stands there at my feet, one paw up in the air, looking at me expectantly and slowing wagging his tail one way. Then the other. Wag. Wag. If I say the magic word, he starts barking to let Libby (outside) know that we are going to the park, going to the park, going to the park, going to the park, going to the park.

He also seems to know when I'm planning to ride my motorcycle to school. This morning when I came downstairs, before I could even head to the basement door, he was already standing there, anxious to get on with the opening of the big door.

If he's all that smart, why doesn't he know where the squirrels go?

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