Harley likes to bring stuff to me to get treats. It started when he was a puppy and I would give him a treat when he gave up some inappropriate item he wanted to chew on. Within a few days he started bringing anything he found on the ground and demanding payment for it. It only took a few tries for him to learn that dog toys didn’t pay well, but trash, especially small pieces of paper, paid best. Over the years he has brought me old bills, coins, and pieces of paper the size of a match head.
Every once in a while, I’ll hear a rumbly kind of noise and look over and he’ll be sitting there, his ears back, with something in his mouth, waiting for payment.
It’s cute and it’s funny and it helps keep my floors clean, but now he’s added a new wrinkle.
Harley has a bed that he loves. It’s a hooded dog bed that he’s had for 2-3 years. For some reason, Scooter has decided she likes it all of a sudden, and she’s been sneaking into it when he isn’t looking. He is too much of a gentleman to kick her out, so he’s come up with his own solution.
He brings me some bit of trash, but instead of a dog treat, he wants me to kick her out of his bed! I’ve become my dog’s bouncer. I think it’s astonishing that he’s made the mental leap from “I bring you trash, you give me a treat” to “I bring you trash, you do me a favor.”
Sometimes I look at this dog and swear he’s an alien who, every once in a while, forgets himself and lets his real intelligence shine through. I just hope that when the aliens invade, he remembers all of the favors I’ve done for him and lets me serve him in the new world order.