Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fishin' balm

So you've got horsies? asks the young fella in the red vest.

I catch this comment as we pass by this oh-so-helpful Tractor Supply employee carrying a load of, what I suppose to be, equine goods and sundries.

Yes, sniffs the customer as she plucks her truck keys from her purse.  I have Horses.

I look at the Husband.  Yikes, I say. Someone got up on the fancy-ass side of the hay bale this morning, didn't she?

Oh hey, I'm not profiling horse people here, I want you to know that. Not every lover of things equine is the sniffy, just-carry-my-horse-stuff-to-the-car-but-don't-expect-me-to-talk-to-the-likes-of-you kinda person. Of course not, because when I grow up I'm gonna be a horse person and I never talk to people like that. 

And it's not like coming out of Petco with the ever pleasant employee carrying my three bags of kibble* and she says something like, so you've got doggies?

Because I'd be all, Heck yeah! You betcha I got doggies! I have three in my house, but only because I'm still not sure how many I can have and still be married. Oh, one more if we add in the stuffed one, dog not husband, but that's a long story. Hold on, lemme show you some pictures of them! This is Jager, he's a little freaky, but a good dog and ...

That's how we dog people are. Well, a lot of us anyway. Whether we call them doggies, mutts or Get Off the Table!, we want to share their goodness with everyone.  We love them, so you will too.  Right?

So anyway, I'm at Tractor Supply Co. and on a mission for dog.  You know about TSC? The handy rural goods store now ubiquitous to every suburban commercial strip mall?  My country-living friend, who drives from his rural farmland into town gets so frustrated with the whole experience he refers to the place as Tough Shoot** Charlie's.  Because they never seem to have in stock whatever it is that he drove ten miles to get.

And thanks TSC, because I'm coming up dry on this trip too. I knew it was a crap shoot (not a farm joke, but it should be) to find my obscure item. Having never before even laying eyes upon a tub of Musher's Secret, I suspected it may be best procured through methods involving not talking to people. Ordering off the internet, that is.

See, I've been a little concerned with the dogs' delicate paws on the hot asphalt as we walk the black mile to my car in the P&G parking lot. So after checking with folk***, the big recommendation was to apply Musher's Secret as a protective measure.  Sounds good to me, but my TSC visit was all for naught. I ended up taking the cashier's suggestion for Bag Balm as a substitute. A public discussion involving the benefits of udder cream should be one of those awkward moments, the kind you just grit your teeth and not tell anyone else about later. Yet in the midst of the special environment that is TSC (is that alfalfa I smell? and rubber?), it didn't strike me as weird until I stepped outside. In the privacy of my car, I take a quiet moment to come to terms with the fact that I have something called Bag Balm resting benignly on the passenger seat. The green tin just sits there all innocent like it doesn't have a dirty name or anything.

So unable to squash a pesky sense of curiosity, I pop the lid on it thinking, well, at least it likely smells real pretty and holy cow this stuff smells like old kerosene stored in a overheated barn. On the plus side, I'm betting the dog won't even try licking this off his paw pads, so there's that.

I admit, though. It did feel a little awkward buying this tin o'lubricant and because I didn't want to get caught with the stuff, say if I had a car accident on the way home and this was sitting opened on the front seat, I also bought this to normalize things.

See?  It's not so weird anymore, is it? Right?

It's a dog toy, y'all.  Hanging there on display with a tag proudly displaying it sturdy enough for rough play.  Practically non-destructible, it says. In other words, the dogs probably won't want to play with it. 

But it's like I always say. Without hope, there's only despair.

Oh that's it! I was struggling trying to remember what this fish thing reminded me of.  Well, besides a cast member from The Beatles' Yellow Submarine.

It brings to mind a certain demotivational poster from

Ambition - The journey of a thousand miles
sometimes ends very, very badly.
I want this on a coffee mug, y'all.

Basking in the sense of relief that comes with finally remembering something like that isn't enough for me. I feel myself brewing up a stellar idea. Dream big is something else I always say. Usually in dripping sarcasm, but hey, I bet there's a poster for that too. Never mind all that right now, cuz I have a really good idea.

I want a photo of Micron catching the fish toy just like the bear in the Ambition poster. Easy peasy, I think to myself.  I grab the Canon, the Blue Meanie fish and usher the mighty Micron to the backyard. 

The Dream Big session lasts a remarkable five or six minutes before I call for assistance. It's proving to be overly ambitious to toss the toy, then focus and snap the photo in the exact moment before Micron catches it. This isn't defeat, of course. I just need another warm body out here.

Toss the fish high in the air, I tell the Husband. No, not like that! It needs to arc and come down straight at his open mouth. Like a football. Kind of.  Ack, NO!  It has to be like a spawning salmon swimming upstream, but upside down. I'll flip the photo in Photoshop to put it right side up, right? You see? Quit looking at me like that, you know what I mean, you're just not listening. Be the salmon, honey. You're fighting the rapids because nature is telling you to find some hot salmoness for your species to survive when Bam! you're eaten by a bear. Got it? 

Still, this is not defeat. It is not. I bravely accept that my creative genius is not shared by others and we plod onward.

And so we toss the fish and snap some photos. Again.

And again.

Finally, we get closer to what I'm looking for. I'm frustrated by the motion blur in the photo, though. We are so close now.  There is no way I'm giving up at this point.  

Then I notice the dog is panting. And that last fish toss was either impossibly ill thrown or quite possibly aimed at my own head.  My team is losing their passion for this project.


Minor change in vision, I say to the Husband. Here's what I want you to do.  Just hold the stupid fish right over Micron's head. Yep, just like that. So he opens his mouth to grab it and . . .

Click. Got it.

*Three dogs, three different diets. Go fig.

**I didn't mean shoot.  I know, I can say fancy-ass, but blush at saying sh**.  I can't explain it.

***Google search

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Euka Flash

When we started raising our second puppy for Canine Companions for Independence, the mighty Micron, eventually we fell into a groove for this gig.

That is, we started some things that became traditions.

Like the One Year photo shoot at Flash Photography of Dayton.

So we have some shots to share with y'all of our lovely Euka showing poise amidst personality.

She just has that look, right?  Like the wheels are turning in that noggin, the fire's burning bright, she's not one slice short of a loaf?  A clever one, our Miss Euka.

Taken on September 14, 2013, her first birthday.

Ok, one outtake for you.  Look! Look!, says Euka. I'm doing a Micron!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Raffle me this

Oh yeah, bring it on, cotton brain, says Euka. I am the Master of Eye Contact.
[must . . . not . . . blink . . .groan]
Let's start off today with a quick test.  No worries, y'all. This'll be easy 'nuff, like those magazine personality quizzes.  You know, like if you could be any celebrity, what would be your favorite color of food? So, I'm just gonna toss out a couple or three questions and the first one is a total gimme as a multiple choice.

Question 1. Ok, this friend of mine, let's call her Dee, won an awesome raffle prize at a pet adoption event. She is thrilled, because it's been years upon years since she's won anything, awesome or otherwise. What do you suppose was the most common question asked of her by friends and family in lieu of a congrats? 
a) It's supposed to be a what, exactly?  
b) What the [bleep] is up with the tail anyway? 
c) Does anyone else think it's creepy how it stares without blinking? 
d) Since it doesn't have a neck, can we say it has a good head on its shoulders? 
e) Hey, you wanna see how much my dog hates it? Watch this . . .
f) What are you going to do with it? 

Answer: yep, the answer is f.  What are you going to do with it?

Bunch of naysayers, I say. And to these naysayers, I say nay to you, because horses eat . . . wait, no. That's not what I mean.

I mean it's ok to be jealous, y'all.  There was only one lifesize German Shepherd stuffed dog in the raffle and, dogs be good, it is now mine, bwahahaha.  Or my friend, Dee's, that is.  Because Dee won the thing, right?

So anyway, here's your second personality test question.  Bumping it up a notch with a Fill in the Blank query. It's a two-parter with that run-on sentence in there.
Question 2.  Are you the kind of person that would name a lifesized stuffed dog? Let's consider you might be, especially since you haven't named a pet in countless years since you either adopt or raise service dogs and they always come with their own names? And when you think about it, you haven't given a moniker to a pet dog since Sh** Jack in 1988. We're not counting the fish, Bob II, because obviously he's not a dog even though you did get to name him.  So, what would you name a lifesized stuffed German Shepherd dog?
You can tell by the face this is a female, right? Oh, don't go on about looking at the wrong end, because this is a stuffed animal, people. We don't have a lot to work with here. I'm pretty much just making it up as I go along.

Well met, Cap'n Windy
And speaking of making it up, I will refer to this prize winning beauty as Cap'n Windy*.

Why would you do that, you ask? Well, because I can. And adding to that, I may just be a bit rusty in this dog naming business. But just like the gender decision, it just seems to suit her, I think.

Now for your final question. This is requires more of an essay-ish response.
Question 3. If you were as amazing as Dee, an individual who had her stars in order and could actually win such a treasure as life-sized German Shepherd stuffed dog - well, what would you do with it anyway? Any ideas, people?
No really, what would you do with this thing? I want to know. So I can help my friend Dee explain it to her family. She's struggling here trying to justify why it should be on proud display in the family room while the kinfolk have less spectacular ideas regarding where it should be available for public appearances. Because Dee doesn't agree that she needs an ersatz guard dog in the walk-in closet.

This is not just another way to get a fourth dog in the house, but you have to see the benefits to having this kind of thing around, right?   Considering the low vet bills and lack of biological clean-up moves the needle on the Attractive Meter into the green zone. Then we gotcha the obvious.

Like home protection, of course.  Heck, once I put Cap'n Windy on the front porch and started taking photos, even the neighbors started to look on edge.  Ain't nobody messing with us now.

To build on the personal protection theme, here's an idea for when you have to drive through those sketchy areas.  I mean, who doesn't respect a dog looking out from the moon roof? Nobody, that's who.

Oh, but it gets better from here.  Finally somebody who'll play a game of Scrabble with me without being a sore loser.

Because Jager cheats. Ok, I haven't actually caught him, but still. He's all sneaky, with those street smarts of his. Not keeping an Ace up his sleeve, because this is Scrabble, remember? And dogs don't wear clothes while playing Scrabble due to the cheating. It's in the rules. But I do suspect there could be a vowel or two under that wily tongue.

I don't usually need help in the kitchen, the space being somewhat limited anyway.  I tried putting Cap'n Windy to task to see if perhaps I could step back and do the crossword while dinner was on the stove. 

All for naught, that little fantasy.  All she did was stare at the peanut butter jar.  Probably for the best, seeing the chicken broth and dog hair lint roller in near adjacency. I don't think you'll find these ingredients together on the same page in the Joy of Cooking.

At least I want very badly for this to be true.

Color me desensitized, says Euka. I think that
would be pink or something.
I do have to admit that Cap'n Windy's destiny is still up in the air [snort windy air].  We might need to find the chick a higher calling.  I mean besides desensitizing CCI puppies to novel objects and putting it on the kid's bed so when he comes home and turns on the light, Cap'n Windy is there to say Good Evening. I hope you made good choices today.  Yeah, besides those things.

What am I going to do with it?

*Does that name nudge a long-forgotten memory, my southwestern Ohio friends?  How 'bout The Uncle Al Show with Captain Windy? Remember now?  She was introduced on every show with her flying on screen, cape flapping, like Supergirl only more wholesome. Yep, naming the stuffed dog after her is messed up on a couple of critical levels.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Caption This #11


What about this looks so familiar, you wonder.  Right?  There's that Déjà vu thing again - that ethereal feeling like you've already had a microwave meal for lunch every day this week? Or is it because you're just collecting Lean Cuisine points to get that snappy new lunch bag so you're willing to down one more pasta conglamerate in a frozen box even though the very thought of it makes you not hungry anymore, but it's the only thing you packed and you do really want the special edition lunch bag so you have to at least nuke it for the box label?

Is that the feeling? Or is it because you just saw this photo a few days ago on The Ohio E's Celebrate Their First Birthday right here on the dog blog?  Which may be doubly impressed upon your memory cells because that particular photo of Emma and Euka reminded me of this one below?

And if memory services, I introduced this adorable shot to y'all in Caption This #9.  A post worth a second look just for the caption ideas, by the way.

Hey Emma, says Euka. What do you get when you cross an
elephant with a rhino*?
 [sigh], says Emma
(photo by Chris Kittredge Photography)

And while we're on the topic of captions, let's put some thought into the top photo, shall we?

So what d'ya think? Yeah, I know. Euka's just yawning in Emma's face, like she's been raised with no manners whatsoever. So we could take this a couple of ways - build a clever caption making a case for these two very bored dogs or instead, with a squint of your eyes, pretend that our Euka is saying something REAL LOUD.

Inspired now? Drop us a comment with your clever thoughts.

*What do you get? Elephino.  Sound it out by syllable, y'all.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It seemed like a good idea

What look on my face? asks Euka. I wasn't gonna
break my Stay, honest.  That right front foot tells
a different story, I think.

It seemed like a good idea

When you pick up Skyler* today, you'll want to bring a change of clothes with you, I told Skyler's mom on the phone.

Underwear, too, I added.

It seemed like a good idea, this impromptu pizza party for my little kid and his new friends.  What better bonding experience is there than breaking bread together anyway? I think none.

Or I thought none. Now I know better.

You see, we had just moved into town, separating my kid from his life long friends, and then plopped him into a new school to start kindergarten. So on an otherwise bleary fall day, I came up with the inspired idea to invite over a few of his elementary school pals for a pizza and playtime.

Sounds good, right?  What a good mom, so thoughtful I was. Sure, we all know the truth on this don't we?Allow me to break down how things went deeply and terribly awry.

We can start off with my lack of knowledge about the energy level of young boys. The activities of an only child can be readily tracked.  One usually knew, at least generally, where in the house he was most times.  Add a six-year-old friend and it was necessary to merely bump your vigilance up to Code Yellow to make sure nothing gets set on fire or something.

But three or more kindergarten age boys in the house? It's pure pack mentality, y'all.  They share one brain and move together in a swirling mass sucking in random items and depositing debri at whim.   

Now put a pizza and Kool-Aid lunch into the equation and we've added biological functionality to the fray, alimentary track-wise.  That is, what goes in must come out.

Over excited boys plus lots o'pizza equals the Skyler Incident. In my six short years of raising a child, I had never (never!) seen anything like this.  The big D it was.  Spread about my water closet-sized half bathroom.  The sink, the floor, the walls (!) and of course, the porcelain throne itself.  I actually swooned, the room went gray and fuzzy for a second, when I opened the bathroom door to Skyler's call for assistance.  Like a crime scene with the whole splatter thing going on, only this was, well . . . you know.  It's like the kid used a paint roller or something.

Boys! I called loud enough to make them jump. Outside!  Let's play Capture the Flag!  Skyler, honey, you just sit here in the grass until your mom gets here, ok?

To my defense, I did not get the garden hose out. It was just too cold for that.  But that I did actually consider it for a second probably negates my defense plea.

So, I'm much better with dogs

Treats for Euka and Micron's friends

Twenty years after this emotional trauma upon my delicate psyche, I'd like to think my party planning skills have improved.  Lessons learned and all that.

But that would just be silly talk.  

To celebrate Euka's first birthday we held a party in her honor at the office this week. A combo affair, this.  Micron's fourth birthday is later this month. Sure 'nuff, we're pet passionate folk here in the office and a dog's birthday party is totally a socially acceptable kinda event. 

And yes, people asked if this was a dog cake or people cake.
Hint: It's a people cake. Really, you can trust me.
However, two dog parties in the same month teeters on that fine balance of Socially Acceptable and Crazy Dog Lady.

So only one party, but we'll invite all co-workers and canine friends and make a big hairy deal out of it with cake and cookies and balloons and such.

It seemed like such a good idea.

Then as per invited, the dogs started showing up and it was kinda like six-year-olds at a pizza party.  We human beans all took a step back as new stuffed toys were inspected for weaknesses then efficiently disemboweled. Squeakers nestled gently inside the polyester stuffing were pulled out and displayed proudly like the still beating hearts of their prey. As I waded through the white fiberfill stuffing to rescue canine digestive tracks from processing afore mentioned squeakers (he makes a funny sound when he farts, Doc), the various dog leashes became tangled about dog legs until Micron eventually became the official birthday piñata all prepped to hang by his ankles.

Euka shares Micron's new toy with our VP of Canine
Communications, the esteemed Pawl Griffin.
I gotcha, Mike, I say. There, now go sit over here for a minute so I can pull Euka off of the company mascot.

But, the squeaky! cries Micron. It's still in one of the toys! I have to get it out . . .

At this point, I'll go ahead and admit it was my full intention to take lots of photos of the birthday action, including a group photo of Euka and Micron with their friends.

Didn't happen.  Actually, never even came close to achieving this lofty goal.  Instead I have a full set of, wait just a sec and I'll count . . . yeah, I got eighteen shots of Euka and Pawl Griffin that look more or less like a two player game of Twister (See photo above right.) Well, I suppose three players if you count the half stuffed hedgehog toy tossed about in the melee.

It's easy to tell the people treats from the dog
treats, right? Right?
But you know what? It was an awesome time, really.  A nice break in the office that enhanced our company culture in P&G Pet Care and we enjoyed watching the dogs as they wore themselves out in mindless play.

And having cake and cookies was icing on the . . . wait, I need another metaphor. Well, anyway it was another bonus for us humans to enjoy.

Oh and Reason #148 of why dog parties are better than kid parties.

No Skyler incident, thank dog. No need for a bucket brigade to recover from this party. I can pick up stuffing innards all day long, y'all. 

This is a people cookie, too. But since I brought most of
it home, I prolly should have labeled it so.  Hindsight and
all that.

Par-TEE ... Par-TEE ... Hey Food Lady, is it 2:00 yet?

Naw, I didn't swallow a squeaker. Why?

* Name changed, not necessarily to protect the kid's identity, but mostly because I don't remember his name. This was nearly twenty years ago, people.  Ok, I'm just messing with you.  I do remember his name and it wasn't Skyler.  But it does rhyme with it. Yeah, and I realize I really I need to get over this and move on, thank you.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Ohio E's celebrate their first birthday

The Ohio E's of the Canine Companions for Independence celebrated their first birthday on September 14, 2013.  We've gotcha some photos of these amazing dogs on their special day for y'all to enjoy.
Let's start with a shot of our cutie patooties at 8-weeks old, shall we?

Left to right: Ella, Everett, Emma, Euka

Then fasten your seatbelts for a fast forward another ten months to their one-year birthday.  Same cuties, same stone bench.

Clockwise from top left: Emma, Euka, Ella, Everett

Clockwise from top left: Emma, Euka, Ella, Everett
Ok, back in time again.  Here's Emma and Euka at their breeder caretaker's house before they came to Ohio.  Emma looks a bit distressed at Euka's antics, right? 

Some things don't change.

Then we have some close ups of our Ohio E's on their special day.


Euka II

and Everett

Wishing a very happy first birthday, our extraordinary E's.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Freedom to . . .

Not quite a vintage photo of our handsome fella. And actually it feels like we just were at the polls voting for our local school levy, but this was indeed back when the mighty Micron was still a pup in training for Canine Companions for Independence.

See the oh so kissable black nose? That boop button is now a mature dudley pink, a mark of distinction thanks to the genetics running through the CCI dogs. But still worthy of the occasional smooch.

Micron was my escort while I exercised my rights as a registered voter on this particular election day in 2010.  And I'm proud to be free to vote for whom I what and on the issues that affect my community.

And today I remember that this freedom comes at a cost, during this time of remembrance for those lost on that day when terrorism reached our soil and changed us forever. 

Today's anniversary is also a memorial to those who sacrificed all to ensure we can continue our noble pursuits of life, liberty and happiness.

And so, today's post is dedicated to the memory of SFC Ofren "AC" Arrechaga

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's what makes him charming

Fooood Ladeeee!, calls Micron from the backyard. I can't find my fish!

Oh for the love of Cat, says Bodine.  What the heck are you on about now?

Hey Bodine, I say. I thought you were in the basement taking care of, um, your business. Lookit, it's fine if you want to hang around and watch, but please don't be underfoot. I set down the two red plates we'll be using for the next set of Micron's Dognition exercises. I look up with a mixture of dismay and dread to see the cat doing his signature Saturday Night Fever Tony Manero strut across the kitchen floor. He sits down on one of the red plates and proceeds to clean his nether regions.  

Like I said, cat o'mine, I need you to be somewhere else right now, I say.  As in, anywhere but right here would be great. Your options are wide open.
Oh, you weren't using this, were you?  Yeah, I didn't
think so.

Well, I sure can't go back down to the basement right now, says Bodine. Actually, you probably shouldn't either. Not for a while anyway.  In fact, I'd recommend you give it a full fifteen, then head down there with a big scooper for the poo. . .

Stop!, I say. You're making me woozy just thinking about it.  Why don't you head out to the living room for a while then.  I don't want any distractions for Micron.

Good luck with that one, Sparky, says Bodine.  Isn't "Distractible" his middle name?

Right, I say. And "Look A'Squirrel" should be his last name. Micron needs to focus on his Dognition exercises, so I can't have you in the kitchen. I'm sure you understand. I'd say it's nothing personal, but you know it really is you.

Just pretend I'm not here, Micron.
Yap on all you want, Food Lady, says Bodine.  But I'm not going anywhere. Even your puny hooman brain has to have figured out by now that nothing happens in this house unless I either cause it or approve it. And, heh, just the mere mention of Micron and cognitive exercises has my keen feline senses intrigued. 

The cat moves to resumes his personal cleansing ritual while waving a front paw at me. 

Carry on, says Bodine in a muffled voice.

Memory • Storing past experiences to make future choices

Taken directly from last week's blog post (It's all fun and games), here was my prediction for Micron's results in the Memory module for his Dognition profile.

"Ok, so my prediction for the Memory games, you ask?  Judging from the results of my last two guesses on Communication and Cunning, I don't have any confidence about playing the lottery anytime soon. But here goes anyway.

"The scale for Memory goes from 1-Present Minded to 10-Retrospective.  I can play it safe by predicting Micron will fall right in the middle of the scale. Again. But I'm not that kind of girl. 

"Considering that my food motivated friend will likely be encouraged to recall where a treat has been placed, I'm gonna say the mighty Micron will be a 6 on the scale."
I admit I was being overly cautious on this one. As much as I wanted to believe that the mighty Micron would do well on the Memory exercises, I just wasn't feeling the vibes that he would actually excel.  Middle of the road is where I thought the big guy would flomp himself down on this scale.

We started with a warm up game to see if Micron had an understanding that a treasured item still existed even if he couldn't see it.  We showed him that, yes indeed, a dog cookie was taking space within his immediate universe. And then, right in front of him, hid the thing under a red Solo cup.

Easy 'nuff, right?  But what if we made him wait for a minute or two before he could claim it? How about two and half minutes later . . . and we were using two red Solo cups?

[yawn], says Micron. Give me something tough here, willya?

So here's where we came out on Memory - note the green bar below. See it down there? It's the one that is going all the way to Retrospective.  Micron's kinda off the charts on memory, do you think?

But before you go getting all impressed with this dog and those sharpened neurons snapping about in that golden cranium, let me stop you right here.   Yes, it's true Micron did go a full two and a half minutes totally remembering which red Solo cup held the awaiting treat.  But one dog's stellar feats of memory is another dog's, well, fixation.

Micron does remember things when he wants to. Like the Nerf ball we keep nearly, but not quite, out of reach on a file cabinet in the office. Or the verboten stuffed toy on a co-worker's desk requiring only a two-legged circus dog stance to reach. He knows precisely who is good for a treat and what is expected of him to score a second one.

All of this knowledge is stocked away in the memory brain cells like well-labeled boxes.  And I believe this Memory skillset has a kissing cousin relationship with that blue bar up there on the scale that is edging towards the Wily side.  Hand in sweaty hand, those two skills.

Reasoning • Inferring the solution to new problems

From Micron's Dognition profile . . .
Micron is the kind of dog that likes to see all the pieces before he solves the puzzle. Reasoning is the ability to solve a problem when you can't see the answer and have to imagine the solution. 
Micron scored more towards the impulsive end, which means he doesn't get caught up in the details - especially details that aren't right in front of him. There is no shame in this. The reasoning games are the most difficult in the Toolkit and most dogs find them extremely challenging.
From Micron's performance in the Communication dimension, he relies on you for help when making decisions. He obviously sees you as his best bet when solving a problem.
I showed Micron two red Solo cups, both empty and upside down. Then I let him see I had a treat. Blocking my hand with a sheet of paper, I didn't allow him to see under which cup I hid the treat. And lastly, I picked up the empty cup to show him there was no treat there.  And . . . Micron, release! In doing this exercise, Micron was challenged to understand the relationship between the empty cup and his treasure.  To rule out what is not to determine what is.

Red Solo cup.  I fill you up.
And that, people, is a whole 'nuther way of thinking for a canine noggin. According to Dognition, this is a difficult task for many dogs. In fact, crows do better at this type of reasoning, which is something I could have gone the rest of my life without knowing.

That's right. A corn-eatin' crow is smarter than my dog in the red Solo cup game.

I'm told there's no shame in how Micron thought this one through, but instead that I can appreciate he relies on me for assistance in solving problems.

To which I will say, you're not kidding.  Micron's cup choice was determined by which side of a central placemarker he positioned himself. When tasked with making the impossible decision -- right cup or left cup -- the yellow dog sat on the center placemarker directly in front of me, connected with eye contact, and barked.

Get your treat, I told him.

I can't, he said.

He didn't know the answer. And he didn't want to risk being wrong. Because you see, from completing the memory tests he knew if he went to the wrong cup that he wouldn't get the treat.  So when he wasn't sure which side to choose, he trusted me to guide him to the answer.

That's how we're bonded, me and him.  You see what we did there? We've blended English and Doglish into our own special language.

You know what? That's deep, y'all. 

Nine Dognition Profiles 

With the completion of all the Dognition exercises, Micron's results put him neatly into one of the nine profiles:

Go ahead and take a wild guess. I had a feeling about where Micron would land on this grid of Social vs Independent Problem Solving. As every other prediction I've made since I started on this Dognition journey, I can enjoy the pleasure of being consistent.

Consistently wrong, that is.

Here ya go . . .

Micron can work a problem out on his own as well as anybody, but he prefers to rely on his secret weapon - you. As a Charmer, Micron has exceptional social skills, which means he can read your body language like a book. He is not above using this information to get his own way. Micron is no fool when it comes to independent problem solving, and his scores reflect a keen understanding of the physical world. However, Micron's real genius is that he sees you as an ally and partner, and he will usually turn to you for help before trying to figure out a problem on his own.
Now take a look at the photo at the top of this post.  You didn't get that caption before reading all this, did you? And now it makes sense.

Yep, our mighty Micron is indeed a Charmer. I know, I know . . . tell you something you don't know. Myself, I was leaning towards thinking he might be a Stargazer, yet I can't deny the Charmer profile is a tidy fit for his golden personality. 

His full profile can be found here on Dognition.

I'm relieved there's not a set of games for cats. I don't think I want to know Bodine's profile. Because, sure as shootin', it will end in something-path.
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