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 Peanut, 'The Wonder Dog'

AlienLove Editor

Last year scientists were excited to report to pet owners that dogs did, indeed, understand many words. Well, this year Peanut proved that dogs can also understand more abstract concepts! It was Christmas morning...

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We were all gathered around the tree, FrogDaddy and I, two young adults, a 6 year old and Peanut. Peanut, a (possibly mixed-breed) beagle from the pound, had watched us wrap many of the presents in the days preceding the holiday. She had even tried to carry away one of the wrapped bones from under the tree (which certainly did have more spirit than asparagus, by the way!)

As names were called, family members were given their gifts. Peanut, much to our amazement, clearly understood what was going on. When her name was mentioned she would come running and go for whatever present was being handed out. She would help "unwrap” it and then take her gift under the table while the people took turns opening their things.

At one point, Peanut came out from under the table carrying one of her new toys. I mentioned to FrogDaddy to check out the fact that she was actually playing with it. I had finally figured out to repeatedly puncture the squeakers in the toys, and that had made all the difference, as Peanut had come from the pound with some peculiar sound fears. Anyway, as soon as she heard me mention her name, she put her paws on my lap and tried to open the package I was holding. In fact, every time her name was called she came out from under the table unquestionably recognizing the fact that it was her turn to receive something. She waited patiently between her gifts, making no attempts to ravage anyone else’s presents, but always knew when it was her turn, and made it clear that she wanted her present. This became difficult after already having allowed her to sample a number of treats, she is overweight and on a diet and we didn’t want to overfeed her too much, despite the holiday spirit.

There was no question in anyone’s mind that she understood the concept that everyone was receiving gifts, including her and that the gifts were not interchangeable, i.e., not every gift was for her. Now, I don’t actually believe that Peanut is truly a wonder dog, all animals are smart or they wouldn’t have survived this long on Earth. Humans just don’t think in the same ways, or necessarily about the same things as do animals.

If you have an interesting story about a pet or wild critter, email it to us for inclusion on our site at: [email protected]

Note: New story: "One Little Dog For Peace, and then another…" http://www.alienlove.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=726&mode=&order=0&thold=0

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