My family has two dogs. One is a 120+ pound Mastiff cross with Chocolate Lab and we call him Moose. The other is about 60 pounds and is a Collie/German Shepard cross and her name is Betsy. Moose is our family’s big baby. We celebrate his birthday every year with an ice cream cake and presents and Christmas is still a spectacle in our house because of him. To anyone who says that pets are dumb, I hold Moose up as a shining example of pet smartacity.
Moose knows a number of things. He knows what it means when mom tells him “corners” when he’s on a truck ride and leans the appropriate direction well ahead of the corner to keep from falling over. He knows that when mom tells him “stop sign” she is going to stop soon and he braces himself. He knows how to say “please” which is by shaking with first his left paw and then with his right. He know’s how to spell “go”, “Barriere”, “swim” and a number of other words. He actually follows conversation really well. He even has a chore! His one and only chore in the entire world is to “Go get daddy for dinner” when my mom tells him too and he’ll run down into the basement and tell my dad it’s dinner time. Moose also knows how to talk back and ask for the things he wants in life.
Like cheese on his chili. That’s one of the many things that Moose also knows. He knows that he likes cheese on his chili and will not eat it any other way.
We figured this out one night when we were in our kitchen getting our dinner…which was obviously chili on this particular night. We all had our bowls served up and Moose was in the kitchen quietly waiting for “his share” as it’s called in our house. Yes, our dog often gets his own dinner plate that is first cooled off for him so he can eat with the family. Well on this night my mom scooped him up a dish and put it down by his ice cream bucket that we keep his water in.
Normally Moose would dig right into his food if it wasn’t too hot and if it was cut into appropriate small bites for him. This time he didn’t. He just stared at his plate of chili and then glared at my mom. My mom wondering what he wanted asked him what was wrong.
Which was when Moose looked at the cheese on the kitchen counter and then looked at his chili.
Mom, who was surprised, ask him if he wanted cheese on his chili and his ears perked up in a manner that in Moose’s world means “yes”. He confirmed that by looking at his chili and then at the cheese again. He waited and when mom finally put a bit of cheese on top of his chili and then happily ate his dinner.
We’ve since tested this theory many times and have come to the same conclusion every time: Moose won’t eat his chili with out some cheese on top of it. I’ve actually given him leftover chili in the past and he’s looked at the fridge where the cheese is and then back at his chili and waited for me to grate up a handful of cheese just for his chili. Moose likes cheese on his chili and he’ll tell you every time that you try and serve him chili without his cheese.
That’s just how it goes in our house. The dog gets cheese on his chili and he can spell at about a first grade level.