Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Hero is a literary dog who devours books (if Mom doesn't keep a close eye on him).
Hero guards his sheep... er, kids.

I often tell Hero (with great love and affection) that he is the World's Dumbest Dog. He has many amusing little quirks. For example, even after three years he has never been able to resign himself to the fact that the kids (his sheep) leave the house to go to school every day. He barks frantically when it's time for them to go, and if I didn't keep him confined to his crate till after they left, he would be at the front door, doing his best to block it. He thinks I'm a very bad mother for allowing the flock to leave, and would much prefer to keep them under canine surveillance 24/7.

Another example is trash. He's seen bagged trash be taken out virtually every day of his life, but he is still convinced that we are removing things that belong in the house. If you take out trash with him around, he'll try to herd you away from the door. If he's in his crate, he'll bark angrily. Trash is part of the house, and guarding the house is his solemn duty, and humans clearly do not understand that removing trash is a terribly wrong thing to do. In Hero's view, humans are none too bright, and we need to be protected from our own follies. It's a constant frustration to him that we don't let him do his job without interference.

Memorial Day brought a new and amusing proof of his status as World's Dumbest Dog. The neighbors about halfway down the road put up little flags (which fluttered patriotically in the breeze) in their front flowerbeds. Being as nearsighted as any other dog, Hero couldn't see exactly what they were, but he knew that there was movement down the street that wasn't supposed to be there. Every time I put him outside, I'd hear angry barking, and go outside to find him standing in the side yard, barking furious defiance at those flags. I kept assuring him it was okay, only to receive a witheringly contemptuous look: Obviously it's not all right! Those things don't belong there! Duh, human! I wound up keeping him inside most of the day, because nothing could convince him that the flags weren't a real and imminent danger.

I love my dog. But he's not the brightest bulb in the string:-).