Tuesday, September 29, 2009

YET MY DOG DOES NOT UNDERSTAND HYPOCRISY

I heard a story on NPR's Morning Edition about a study conducted on dogs that concluded that they have a sense of fairness, once thought to be exclusive to humans and other primates.

This is Cocoa. She was bred to be an impulsive, hyperactive bitch. Her favorite activity involves the incessant chewing of water bottles and large objects. She becomes so absorbed in this, that any attempt at distracting her from her ritual will transform her usual absurdly happy self into a snarling beast.

Well, the other night I noticed that she was beside me, next to the computer desk indulging that huge bone the neighbor gave her. I also noticed that she was chewing right above my Firewire 800 cable. Well aware of the the fact that she quickly switches to one compulsive outlet to another, and considering that one she chewed a CAT5 cable to pieces, I quickly tried to snatch the cable that was just under her, and was even more quickly bit in the joint of my finger. Ow.

While the pain took over my senses, several thoughts went through my head. First is the fact that she loves to interrupt me while eating, another sacred act in her book. She would innocuously lean her snout against me, just a whisker away from my food. Do I snarl at her? No. Do I bark at her? Nope, and I certainly don't bite her, though once I thought about that.

So I slapped her hard in the butt. But then it hit me. She likes getting slapped in the butt. Sometimes she'd wake me up in the morning, bark and point her ass in my direction. She probably interpreted it as a reward for being such a hypocrite.

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