Monday, February 27, 2012

Harley Tales

I've mentioned before that Harley is a genius, haven't I? Let me tell you three new stories to illustrate.

Sunday I was sorting and filing huge piles of old papers. I sat on the couch with a folding table set up in front of me and rat terriers piled up beside me. On my right, Harley and Scooter intertwined, as they often are, and Pixie stretched out on my left. I tossed one letter onto a pile on the far side of the table, but it kept going, landing on the floor. I was surrounded by piles of papers and other junk and couldn't get up to get the letter, but I didn't want to lose track of it.

I woke Harley up and asked him to get the paper. He jumped down immediately and trotted over to the piece I indicated, bypassing all of the torn bits and pieces of envelopes and trash in his way. He never hesitated, but got the right piece on the first try.

He wasn't happy when his pay (a bit of food) wasn't forthcoming, so he brought me another piece or two before giving up and going back to sleep. Remember, he was sound asleep when this paper hit the floor, but he went directly to the right paper with no hesitation.

***

Later on Sunday I was making dinner and a fork fell on the floor. Harley offered to pick it up, but he didn't like the feel of it. I waited while he pushed and pulled it all over the kitchen, until finally giving up, looking up at me as if to say, "It's too hard, Mom!"

I said, "Bring me the fork and I'll get you some ice cream."

He bent his head, picked up the fork without delay and brought it to me as if he had never had any problem.

He got his ice cream.

***

Harley loves the laser pointer and will do anything to get a chance to chase it around the room, or even up and down the hillside in my parents' yard. Because of his passion for it, you can't say laser around him. You can't spell it around him, either. Even a single L gets his ears and tail up. By the time you get to A, he's quivering and ready to go.

Tonight I spelled out just the first three letters, but I buried them into conversation, not using any particular tone. As soon as he heard the first letter, he was alert, by A he was wagging his tail and as soon as he heard S he fixated on Mom since he knows she keeps a laser next to her chair. You just can't fool this dog. Unfortunately, he didn't get any laser time tonight.

Maybe he needs to get back to work and earn it. I'm sure he can find something on the floor that doesn't belong there. If not at my mom's place, certainly at mine. Get to work, Harley!

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