Yet, we as animal lovers know different.
I watched my Tinker Belle just today, as she watched in the truck’s side mirror, waiting for daddy to return. At first I did not know what she was staring at. It appeared that she was only looking out the window. But as soon as I saw Ken in the side mirror, evidently so did she, because then she went to the driver’s side and watched that mirror until daddy opened the door, approaching from the rear of the truck. What a smart little girl.
We have another Pug named Suzie. She is being taken care of by my son until we get settled down south. She’s getting up in her years, and over the years I have tried and tried to get her to learn new things. Sometimes I think she is the smartest dog around because she can learn, if she sees one of the other dogs getting rewarded for their efforts, but mostly she knows she can get the same reward just by sitting and smiling at me. No extra effort required, but that’s a Pug for you.
Our husky mix, also with my son, has a hunter’s instinct. She watches the treetops for birds and squirrels that might dare low enough for her to jump up and catch. She also knows there’s no benefit in simply barking and scratching at the fence when the little neighbor dogs annoy her. When we first brought her to our home, she noted the existence of those yappers, then proceeded to search the length of the fence (and its height) for a way to get to them. Without finding such access, she mostly leaves them alone now.
Ken’s daughter has birds, the eldest (and loudest) being a cockatoo named Baby. As with other birds that mimic, Baby has picked up quite a vocabulary, and she regularly chats with people and sometimes screams when she believes her people are ignoring her. The other day when we were over for the evening, Baby and I chatted for awhile, and then I left the front room to watch TV in the living room. She did not like that and she started screaming at me. Then she got Jack and Junior going, two young cockatiels, and there was quite a ruckus until I finally decided to take action. Being late in the evening, I decided to cover the birds for the night. First Jack and Junior, as Baby continued her rant, knowing what was coming. Then as I draped her cover over, she dropped to the bottom of her cage, bent over to peer beneath the cover, and in her deepest voice, she said, “Asshole,” as clear as day.
I spun around as if it had been a child cursing at me. She riled me up, despite her “only being a bird.” Then I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. I had been bested by a bird.