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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Is My Dog Smarter than your Child?

If you ask a child (usually younger than five years of age) which stick is longer when you have two identical sticks laid out together, they’ll say they’re the same. But if you move one stick to the right or left they’ll say one of them is longer even though they’re the exact same sticks and of course the exact same length.

This is a developmental thing and eventually all kids will ‘get’ it. Some take a bit longer than others which is part of the reason teaching maths in grade one and two can be so difficult. It;s called conservation of length.

There’s also conservation of volume and conservation of number. Thank you to Monsieur Jean Piaget for enlightening us all about children’s cognitive development.

But you’d think if a four year old child fails to understand the concept, it would be impossible for a dim-witted Fox Terrier and surly Chihuahua to comprehend… but somehow ours do.

We give them a milky treat every morning and evening and sometimes I run low and have to give them a half each. 

They’re fully aware of this aberration and will sit on the end of the bed, livid, eyeballing me and licking their lips in scandalised disappointment.

How can they tell I've short changed them? How do they know they’re only getting five centimetres of doggy lolly instead of ten?

Are my dogs smarter than a four year old?

Ermahgerd! Merlk trerts!

Mind you the milky treats smell delicious, a bit like those milkshake lollies and even I’m tempted to eat one, especially after dinner when I feel like something sweet. Scotto had a bite one evening and gave the thumbs up commenting that they’re thoroughly enjoyable.

I might take him to the vet for his heart worm needle tomorrow.

The dogs become very excited when it’s time for their milky treat but there’s only one thing that sends them into an absolutely uncontrollable spiral of delirious gyration; the arrival of my son Thaddeus on spaghetti night.

I reckon he must slip them something under the dinner table when I’m not looking.

Why else would Pablo act like he loves Thaddeus more than he loves me?