Monday, March 10, 2014

Hide and Go Seek (Dog Version)

Rawhide bones are cheap fun for dogs that like to chew (and what dog doesn't?). They don't last long, so we don't get them often, preferring to let Kane gnaw on an antler. Ordinarily, the rawhide bone is gone in 30 minutes or less.

But this last time we gave him a rawhide bone, he got tricky with it.

At first, I thought he was playing with it and it accidentally slipped under the piano. Then under the deacon's bench in the front hall. I dutifully (and with increasing annoyance) retrieved the bone and gave it to him.

I was perplexed because I knew that he had the intelligence to use his paw to pull the bone back out from under objects.

Each time, he received it back and then halfheartedly gave it a chew or two before losing it again.

I found it tucked snugly beside his crate. I gave it to him.

At one point he seemed to be rubbing his head neurotically against his bed. Steve went to investigate and discovered the bone tucked between Kane's bed and the bookcase. He retrieved the bone and handed it proudly to Kane. The head-rubbing stopped.

He went into the front hall with the bone. This time I heard weird noises and thought he had lost his bone AGAIN.

I was wrong.

He had, with considerable effort and intelligence, tucked the bone into a corner and dragged a scarf over it.

He was hiding it. Stashing it for future consumption. The head-rubbing had been his attempt to push his bed up tight against the bookcase, "burying" the bone. (He was not very effective at this as he was actually standing on the bed at the time.)

He watched me take that picture. As soon as I sat down, I heard him retrieving the bone. Minutes later, I found it here:

You'll notice our improvised gate at the landing.
This is to keep Kane from disturbing Elly who has claimed the upstairs as her sanctuary.
He, of course, could leap it in about two microseconds if he really wanted to.
If I had not been actively looking for it, I'm not sure I would have noticed it. Well done, Kane.

In doggy-vision (no colour), it is equally well hidden - though he might have done better if he'd turned it 90 degrees to align with the wood grain.

Half an hour later we found it here:

Not so good, Kane. Try harder.

Each time he re-hid the bone, he went and investigated all the other places he had stashed it, to make sure (I guess) that he hadn't left part of it behind.

That's impressive.

He (again) saw me taking the picture and must have been considerably frustrated with me because few minutes later, it was gone.

And I could not find it for the rest of the evening and most of the next day, until Brian burst out laughing and called me into the sunroom.

A masterful job of caching, I must say! It could have stayed there for ages (I didn't pull it out), but Emily was not in on the game and she thought it was lost, so she brought it to Kane.

I can just imagine him thinking: Holy crap, people, what do I have to do to hide a bone around here? Dig a freaking HOLE?

Again, it went missing for many hours, until:

And that is where it sits as of this writing.

I don't know enough about dog behaviour to know if this is normal, abnormal, or even assertive or aggressive. But I do find it extremely humorous and a good indication of his intelligence. As I've said before, he is one smart puppy.

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