Monday, January 17, 2011

What Are They Thinking

This Sunday it was a bit too brisk for us to go out hiking.  I'm guessing Bunny and Morgan probably would have been okay, but Mr. Taleteller and I are wimps about the cold weather.  This meant that our Sunday afternoon found us sitting at home with the dogs and watching a movie.  The movie we were watching was Temple Grandin

For those of you who have not heard of her, Temple Grandin is doctor who is autistic.  Her field of study is animals.  She has a gift for sharing what it is like to be autistic and also to design facilities for the safe handling of animals.  Her autism has allowed her to think and see things the way animals do.  Most of her work has been with livestock and the movie deals with how she helped to change things in the cattle industry.

Watching the movie made me think and wonder what it would be like to see things the way our dogs do.  I feel like I have a pretty close bond with each of them, and I can guess sometimes what they must be thinking, but at other times, they baffle me.  When we're together, they seem to be very content. 

One thing I'm curious about, though, is what they're thinking when we're not together.  Do they wonder where we've gone, or are they content just napping in their various favorite spots?  If we leave with just one or two of them, do they wonder why they were left behind, or why they got to go and the others got left behind?  Alas, I digress.

What I do know is that while being cooped up inside really isn't much of a hardship for the Greyhounds, it induces strong cabin fever for Morgan.  Blueberry and Lilac seemed happy that we were all home together, and Bunny was happy to share the couch with me.  After Morgan attempted to pounce on Blueberry as she hobbled by, use Lilac as a chew toy, continued to agitate Bunny and play bitey face with me (ewwww, my lips have touched dog lips), Mr. Taleteller decided to take pity on us and try to amuse her.

He started with the puzzle cube.  Morgan had no interest in tipping it over and getting the food out.  Harrassing Bunny still seemed like a lot more fun.  So, they practiced their obedience work for a bit.  This held her attention for a little while until Blueberry decided to show that she can still do obedience with a splint on.  Finally, he resorted to trying to teach her a trick.  They were working on her keeping a treat on her nose.

I am not sure who ended up being more amused by this endeavor.  Mr. Taleteller was laughing some.  I was laughing.  Morgan was pouncing on treats that happened to slide askew.  Even the Greyhounds were amused by watching Morgan try to keep the treat on her nose.

She didn't master the trick yet, but I'm sure that she will end up getting it with her usual determination.  I could see the wheels turning in her mind as she worked to achieve the goal my husband had for her.  Either that or she was thinking a lot of words that I can't type here on the blog.  Maybe it's better if I don't know what they're thinking!

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  1. Fabby photos. Morgan sure is stunning.

    Like you said, it's probably best not to know what they are thinking:)

  2. I love that trick! It's on my list to try with Henry. Love the concentration on her face on the... 4th picture. Beautiful girl!

  3. Got to keep those German Shepherds busy. They are just not happy if they're not doing something. To each her own, I always say, just before one of my naps.

  4. Well, I continue to baffel my mum everyday and you can rest assure hers don't really wanna knows what goes on in MY mind.
    And if you wants my opinion, cuz you knows you do...I see no point in dat treat exercise, just give already.
    Nows on to da nice part of my comment...I loves dat foto of Morgan (da 4th one)...her does haves da look of concentration.


  5. What a delightful crew you have - it's always a pleasure to see what you are up to!!

    Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ruairi

    PS- we hope our Mom doesn't try making us learn any new tricks.

  6. Sorry Morgan is a bit stir crazy. I am with Bunny on this - a nice couch and blankie sound pretty good!

    Your pal, Pip

  7. Well here's one thing we know Morgan isn't thinking: "Of course they don't want to go outside in the cold. They don't have nice warm coats like I do."

    Good luck in keeping Morgan entertained until the January thaw.

    My last nose work class was postponed for snow but I hope to have something up for Morgan and Mr. TaleTeller to try by the end of this week over at Something Wagging This Way Comes. Maybe it will help.

  8. There is no doubt in my mind that Morgan will master this trick! Maybe she already has and just figured she would get more treats if they kept sliding off her nose:)

  9. That's why they are clever than we humans!!! They understand us more than we do to them and they train us to train them : )

  10. Wow, it sure looks like a lot of trouble having a smart dog. ;)

  11. No doubt, Morgan will master that trick. It sounds like Morgan is much more like our dogs than the rest of the pack. Our dogs *must* get out for some exercise or they become mischievous beyond belief. That means that, even if it's -20°, we put on an incredible number of layers and trudge outside with them... In a pinch, we do the training trick game, which does help when exercise isn't possible.

    I could see Blue's cast in the background... At least it's not huge. I hope that she's handling the enforced rest OK.

  12. Aww, I love the photos - the 4th pic is truly special!

  13. Morgan gets Cabinet Fever too???
    Those are some fun pics you have up today. I think it is grrrreat that Morgan is trying to teach Mr. Taleteller how to balance treats on her nose. He will get the hang of it... with enough practice. hehehe

  14. It can be both interesting and entertaining to watch our dogs learn, and each one is so different! I bet Morgan will get the hang of it, she's got the perfect nose for that trick!


  15. That last picture of Bunny is a hoot! She looks like she is on her throne looking down on the peasants! Morgan is a beautiful girl though!

  16. Maybe Nigel can loan you the video cam so that you can see what happens while you are gone.

  17. Morgan...smarty pants
    Benny & Lily

  18. I think Morgan should try to teach Mr. Taleteller to balance a treat on his nose. Now THAT would be impressive!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  19. I wonner - if'n you put a treat on our nose and we look cross-eyed at it, will our eyes stay that way?

  20. Our Mama MET Temple Grandin once at an autism conference! We think she is a cool person. We have never had a puzzle cube toy. Mama, get us one!

  21. We have that movie in our Netflix queue. I have heard that dogs have a sense of fairness; that if one gets something that they feel that they should get it too. They can't distinguish between quality (one dog gets a hotdog, the other gets the bun) but they want to be treated fairly. We always joke that's what they're thinking when we go away with one of them.

  22. My people would like to see that movie. The inside of my brain is probably excessively handsome!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  23. I always wonder the same sort of things. I watched the golden globes last night and the actress won for playing Temple. The cards have shown so I guess I gotta see it.

  24. Hee Hee Morgan was very patient ;)

    Now to business...

    Bring it ON Bunny ;)

    I may be crackers but I've got Pip's back and you ain't seen nothin yet! ;)

    Waggin at ya,

  25. Temple Grandin is amazing. We love her books - you should read 'Animals in Translation' - an absolutely brillant book!

    We saw that movie on the plane going over to the US last year - Murray's Dad was in floods of tears watching it. We've since got it on DVD and with every viewing find it more and more fascinating.

    take care
    Clive and Murray

  26. That "game" is a nice way to be entertained!
    Morgan was was delighted and Bunny was very attentive to what was happening.
    We are very happy to see that Blueberry was also participating.
    Cute girls!

  27. Too funny! Do you have an indoor doggie exercise place near you? We have a couple. Not that we er, go to ours... one of us (you can guess who if you like) has territory marking issues in new indoor places that have had dogs in them. Still, if you have something like that, it might at least help out if the winter slogs on for too long!

    Oh, and I'm fairly certain I don't want to know some of the thoughts that our animals have... especially the cats!

  28. I love how all the grey's are watching intensely while Morgan attempts to ignore the instruction!

  29. I just put Temple Grandin in my Netflix queue! Can't wait to see it. I always wonder what my dogs are thinking about the silly thing we humans do.

    Morgan is doing great--you should see Sage with that trick. NOT....

    Thanks for the well wishes. She picked all the chicken out of the rice tonight, but at least she ate something! Cottage cheese & rice was a bust...

    Sage's Mom

  30. Too bad woo aren't khloser!

    Morgan khould have khome along on the transport and met the other Morgan!

    We are glad woo enjoyed the one in Blueberry's honour - we thought it fitting and proper given the passengers!


  31. Funny thing here. The colder it is, the more The Herd insists on going out. We can only get away with a day at the house in the heat of the summer.

  32. It's me, Buddy...and if I was there I would be thinking what a wonderful inside day.

  33. I know Morgan will master it!
    Happy Monday to all of you!
    Kisses and hugs

  34. So in the third picture it looks like Mr T is trying to keep the treat on his nose. How did he do?

    Great images, I love the picture of Bunny.

  35. I wonder what mine are thinking a lot, but sometimes they just have a blank look (Xander,) and I figure the lights are on, but nobody's home. Morgan is a really
    pretty girl!


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