Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How Dogs Think (Well, Jasmine Anyway)

Jasmine is one smart girl, always has been.

She is the puppy that was house-trained in one week! And not because of my outstanding training skills—I was a dog training virgin then. Jasmine had to teach me everything. I learned more from her then she did from me.

Jasmine is also very observant and she forgets nothing. 

It took only one encounter with the thermometer for her to glue her rump to the ground the moment a vet approaches his drawer.

When we first took her for her underwater treadmill therapy, she wasn't very impressed having to get into that weird fish tank with no water and no fish.

It was to her relief that at least the water started to pour in. Kind of too warm to anybody's liking, but one can't rely on the bipeds to do anything right.

Then the ground started moving, now, that was really weird. Who came up with that idea? 

Gotta work pretty hard keeping up with it—all that walking while getting nowhere. Hm, ok then.

Are we there yet?

Finally the ground stopped moving, the water went away and they opened the door—I'm outta here!

But Jasmine is also very good at accepting the inevitable. 

So the next time she came in she hopped right into the tank.

Once the door closed behind her, she started pawing at the edge where the water came in last time—let's get this over with.

This became a routine. Hop in, get the water going by pawing at that edge and when it's all done get the door open by pawing at that.

The vet likes Jasmine very much and always marvels at how smart she is that she knows how to get things working.

Last time, however, there was an apprentice vet there doing the session. As usually, Jasmine hops in and goes to get the water going.

“Jasmine, don't do that,” the apprentice vet says.
“Well, she does that to get the water to come in,” hubby smiles.
“But Jasmine, that does not work,” the vet starts to explain … but at that moment the water starts pouring in!

“See, it is working!” hubby says.

How do you argue with that? IT IS working, it always has.


Last two weekends we were helping out vet move to his new clinic.

It's a very nice place and he decided to get some new stuff also, including new lift exam tables.

In the old place he had hydraulic lift exam tables. 

They were there since the first time Jasmine came to see him. She didn't really like them so much, but since she figured out that they want her on that table, she'd just hop on as she entered the exam room.

Then the vet would come in, raise the table, poke and probe her—that's how that is done before they can express the joy of seeing each other again.

Because the vet has these new exam tables now, he gave two of the old ones to hubby—you know, hubby is one of those guys who finds use for everything …

So he loaded it onto his trailer and took it to the shop at the friend's farm where he and the dogs spend most of the weekends working on other stuff somebody found use for.

As he was unloading it, Jasmine was very puzzled.

What is this doing here?

But as he moved it into the shop, she figured—ok, that's where we'll do this now I guess.

In order to get with the program she hops on. 

But nobody else seems to be doing this right!

Jasmine gets off again and, making sure that hubby can see her getting on, she hops back on. She tried this several times.

"Ok, is nobody else going to get on with the program?”

Hm, I guess that's why it's here now – cause it's broken.


  1. Inductive AND deductive reasoning...my Poodle can do both too. Sometimes it gets a little scary.

  2. Aww, that's adorable! And it is a pretty true representation of dog logic processes! (And actually, people too in a lot of cases!)

  3. Jasmine's got her whole world figured out :-) Always watching and putting things together. Same with speech. You can really see it when you say something she doesn't understand - she's trying to figure it out :-)

  4. Wow, that is very impressive Jana! She sounds like one truly special lady.

  5. What a great story! Jasmine's got it going on!

  6. Dear Dr. Laci. Yeah, she's too smart for our own good! But she is extremely special lady.

    Vicky, glad you liked the story. Oh yeah, she's got it going on :-)

  7. What a clever girl she is your beauty!There's lot more to communication than talking. Dogs talk to us by the look in their beautiful eyes... with a nod and the way they hold back their ears...u can see them smiling when they're happy and u can see their sad eyes when they're in pain or upset. I wouldn't trade my beautiful Precious for the world. He waits for me coming back from work and everyday I get the most amazing hug and his licking wouldn't stop as if he hadn't seen me in a 100 years... honestly... I cannot imagine my life without him, I love him so very much.

  8. Thank you, she really is - the apple of my eye :-) They really do become like kids sometimes, don't they?

  9. Wow! Jasmine is a smart girl! She really puts 2 and 2 together!
    Great example of how they adapt so well:)

  10. That's how she can rule the world around her ;-)

  11. Hi Y'all,

    Love how Jasmine thinks and communicates! Good girl!

    Most of our vets these past years are young and get down on the floor with the larger dog. As a matter of fact the surgical clinic Hawk had to go to has no metal tables, only a counter for small dogs. They say many dogs panic if they object to a procedure while on the metal table because it is slippery.

    That said, if the vet has a bad back or knees, the floor is no place to be!

  12. Yes, previous vets (and her TCVM still) examine her on the floor.

    Her main vet is not young and does have problems with his knees and back. So he had the old lift tables from before we started seeing him.

    His are not that scary, actually, as he applied a non-slip, non-reflective surface on them. So these are safe for all.