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Friday, November 18, 2011

 The Memory of a Dog
Some people say that a dog can't remember things over a long time, and that dogs memory is limited to a few events only.
But most dog owners who have spend quality time with their dog will argue that point.
We are always amazed about the memory of our Molly. We have been coming to this place in the desert since 2005, and with the exception of one year, we have been parked in the very same spot.  Every year there is the first time we go on a  walk with her. We go across the dunes and over to the irrigation canal. She is always a few yards ahead of me on a long leash. Automatically she finds the same route we did 7 months earlier. There is even one spot where she takes a shortcut every year.
On the northern edge of the BLM camp, we have friends who have also been in that spot for years. Betty always has a milk bone for Molly, when Molly turns up at the door of their rig. When we had our first morning walk this time, we followed the canal north, then cut across the dunes to Betty's rig. Molly was off leash and I was staying back, curiously watching what Molly would do. Well, she went straight over to Betty's rig and stopped tail-wagging in front of the door. Out came Betty with a milk bone.
Change of location: A year after we left our property in Alberta we had returned to town. I decided to do a walk on our former 120ac property along the lake. Nobody lives there, so I figured there would be no problem. When Molly saw our former house from the lake shore she ran up there and was waiting in front of the entry door to be let in to the kitchen. She felt absolutely at ease and considered the place to be her home. I am convinced she would do the same now, after being away from the property for several years.
She is also able to recognize people years after she has met them a few times.
But it doesn't stop there. Molly also has an "inner clock" which works quite accurate. Every day she gets to her feet during the afternoon and at the same time, to let us know it is time to do a walk. Shortly after, it often is around 4:30 to 5pm, she gets up again and starts bugging us to start supper. Alright, she knows that when supper is prepared, there's always something coming her way. I could give several more examples of that.
During our journey from Atlantic Time Zone to Pacific Time Zone (4hrs) she was obviously hanging onto Atlantic time as she was really early up in the morning with a need to get outside. For all of us it has now taken more then 2 weeks to get the day rythm right.
Of course she has also a remarkable remembrance of certain words. And we always amaze other people with the fact that we speak to Molly in three different languages, namely German, Norwegian and English. That did not happen with a special purpose, but arose out of our way of living. Molly does not know that these words come from these languages, for her, they are simply known commands which she follows. Of course bystanders can be wondering how that is possible. When we do not want her to hear a word which f.ex. might indicate a walk, then we have to spell it, otherwise Molly would jump to her feet and start begging for the "promised" walk.
So Molly has quite a few maps in her brain and she sure knows about time and commands.
I am sure there are differences from one breed to another with maybe the Border Collie being one of the smartest breeds, but generally dogs are way more intelligent than we might think.

Thanks again for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. So very true our dog partners I sometimes think have a better memory than their humans. Any word containing walk , like walking, walkies or just walk causes a real commotion in this house and have now picked up on the spelled version.


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