I’m fairly convinced our dog, Chauncey, is even smarter than we give him credit for. I think this is true of all dogs. And it’s a brilliant tactic on their part. By maintaining enough of the illusion of inferior intellect, they reap big rewards. Free room, free board, treats, walks, limitless cuddling sessions, and just an all around solid life situation.

Case in point: two nights ago I set out his dinner and cleaned out his water bowl, but in the rush to help with the other baby in the family (the inferior human) I forgot to refill the water bowl and set it out. Now, before you report me to PETA, he’d had water out the whole day, but like any dog of higher intellect he only tolerates bottled water -yes, we give him Arrowhead bottled water- and only considers it viable for about an hour after pouring, whereupon he deems it too contaminated with our house’s airborne detritus to be potable. This is much smarter than I, who will sometimes grab a glass of unknown liquid off a table and take a sip just to test if it’s old or still “good fer drinkin’ and what not.” Anyway, an hour or so later Amanda is already in bed, and I am doing the rounds, turning off lights and getting ready to hit the sack myself. There is only one last light to turn off, and it’s in the baby’s room. When I walk in I see Chauncey perched up on his hind legs on the rocking chair with his snout in the glass of water that Amanda had left on the side table after feeding the baby. He had seen her with that water earlier, I suppose, and registered it in his mind as a target for later. The sight of him in mid-discovery was quite surreal.

Now, if you’re not as impressed with this as I, then let me tell you that this is a chair which Chauncey has pretended since the baby’s birth to be intimidated by because of it’s “scary movey thing that make Chauncey dog no understand!” When Amanda nurses the tyke in that chair he will feign fear and intimidation at trying to hop up and join her. All a ruse, I now see. A ruse to engender sympathy for his new lot in life as the second fiddle. Woe is me, I’m the dumb dog who my owners have thrown aside in favor of this much smarter thing with no fur. This little thing that… isn’t potty trained like me, can’t do multiple tricks on command, doesn’t come when called like I do, can’t move from one place to the other under her own power, and won’t curl up on the couch by choice and rest her head on her parent’s lap. No dice Chauncey. I’m not buying the victim thing here.

Yes, I forgot to set out your water. But as you clearly demonstrated, when not under the watchful eye of the parent bots, you are perfectly capable of handling that task. You just wouldn’t want us to know that. Of course, I should mention that Chauncey didn’t actually drink the water that was in that glass he had managed climb his way to. He was merely checking it with his snout for optimal freshness. It didn’t meet his standards so I poured him a fresh bowl of Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, which I’m sure was all part of his plan from the beginning.

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