It never ceases to amaze me how smart these dogs are.
We have a golf driving range out back of our place and beyond that are some woods with several kilometres of walking trails up down and around. Marlie and I have walked all the trails, off leash, in various combinations over her almost 3 year life. Although its a blessing to have access to this area, and great to see nature and all the seasonal changes, I guess we were both getting a bit tired of the same old scenery over and over. I didn't let on but one day recently Marl' began to try to take me down paths that would shorten the route and get us home sooner. Puzzled, I egged her on and we did our usual full route for the first few days of this, no real arguements from her but she kept repeating this behaviour each night at each turn. Eventually, even I began to get the message.
We often walk first and then play some ball when we get home again usually in the driving range if its not in use by golfers. With the days getting shorter lately its a rush to get home from work in time to get in a full walk and a decent ball game before dark. Marl loves chasing balls and she recently got a new soccer ball that has been an all time favorite in a series of many previous ones.
Marlie solved the problem of the shortening days, by opting to shorten the walk and lengthen the ball game. It took me a few days to understand what she was saying to me.
Our usual route takes us out the back gate to the right and around the periphery of the driving range to a point where we are on about the diagonally opposite side of the range from the house. Then we proceed into the woods. One evening as we approached this point, thinking of her recent behaviour the penny began to drop for me, I stopped her and said something like "OK what do you want to do, walk or play ball?" As the words came from my mouth she wheeled around and ran directly across the driving range (fortunately its closed for the season now) and into our back gate. I followed at my slow pace suspecting I knew what was going to happen next.
Sure enough in a moment or two she reemerged from the garden to meet me with her soccer ball in her mouth, dropping it so it rolled to a stop at my feet.
We played ball till dark and each night since, we have repeated the same pantomime. The first bit of the walk gets the ablutions out of the way and then GAME ON!
Just had to share this experience with someone. Smart dogs these labs! Its humbling.
Uxbridge Ontario Canada
In September we put to rest our old girl with the soccer ball she had played with for 12 years. It was skinned of all panels but she never totally popped it and it was number one on her toy parade. We offered her replacements but they were always rejected.
Now our 14 week old is taking up with a soccer ball, one of the rejected replacements, and can actually retrieve a full size ball. Very funny to see a pup retrieve a ball 3 times the size of her head. She will get her own first official unused soccer ball for Christmas.
Indeed our adored labbies are smart cookies, especially where it concerns things they really want or want to do.
There are often times I look at my Lexi wonder if she has two brain cells to rub together to follow instructions, but there are many more times when she will startle me with how she knows exactly what I am asking her to do.
My pretty girl, Lexi!
Sometimes I think these glorious creatures are too smart for us! On occasion my husband will remark that Champ doesn't have the brains of a flea, but then Champ does things that shows he is thinking through a problem. I think his hard-headedness comes across as being dumb, because this boy ain't no dummy!
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
It's not providing owners with smart puppies, it's providing owners for my puppies who are half as smart as they are.
♣ Laura ♣
An old hand at labs once told me, "My husband and I used to think we were really good dog trainers. Then we realized we just always had really good dogs". It's something I always remember.
Blackie and Ranger ...............................Reggie: 1996-2010 "Fly Reggie Fly"