we've created a monster

It's hard to keep an aging, arthritic dog entertained.
The dog was bored and we came up with, what seemed at the time, a brilliant solution; we hid small edible treats in boxes, wrapped them up, and gave them to the dog to "play with". Don't be fooled. Old dogs do learn new tricks -- quite quickly and effectively it turns out. She learned two things. 1) any and all boxes within reach are potentially "hers" and 2) even if it doesn't smell like food, there might be a small morsel hiding deep inside, so it's always best to thoroughly check.

In 3.5 very satisfying seconds, or less, she can go from this:

to this...

It was fun. It was cute. She was happy. But then... twice, parcels wrapped for mailing away were mistaken for dog toys (by the dog -- everyone else can tell the difference!) and she started eyeing the advent calendar boxes on the mantel. And it occurred to me -- would the presents we were preparing to place under the tree be safe? Probably not!
We debated what to do. Wait until Christmas Eve to put the gifts out, then keep the dog locked up in a room for the night? Put the presents out anyway, and watch as carefully as possible? It was Environmental Son's Girlfriend who came up with the best idea -- put out fake trial presents and see what happens -- there could even be potential teaching moments where the dog could learn to distinguish between "dog toys" and "not dog toys". So that's the plan....

And just in case this old dog has learned some other tricks along the way, we thought we'd make it perfectly clear.


  1. Older Sister of Your Man17 December 2013 at 08:31

    Love it! She is sooooo smart, and obviously she won't touch that one because you know she can read. If you really want to keep her entertained, you should get her a kitten.


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