Is your dog smart?

To study dogs smartness, owners learn new tricks, I read somewhere. So the world has turned a full circle, and instead of the dogs, the owners are learning new tricks instead of the other way round. Nowadays universities have Canine Cognition Centres and Yale University is one of them. Owners try to find out how smart their dogs are, so they push their dogs into participating in such centres. And these centres then grant diplomas to the participating dogs. And these diplomas are bachelor’s, master’s and doctorates. And the owners earn brownie points and bragging rights in Social circles.

My name is Rocky and I am not a human. I started staying with Sumaira’s family, in the USA, since I was a pup and she was a small child. She was and still is my best friend. When she was sitting in her pram, I loved playing with her and licking her face. In fact, I loved lathering the faces of all humans in my house, with my saliva. Her parents took good care of me and they too loved me a lot. I was served the choicest food, it was a tradition for me to sit below the dining table, eagerly looking for food morsels, which the family was kind enough to share with me. I was bathed every day by Sumaira’s father and involved heavy foam on my body, every two days. Oh! How I loved to play with the foam. And those walks on the campus were bliss. I loved to watch the falling leaves and being surrounded and petted by Sumaira’s friends. Sumaira’s father would throw a ball, and I would be off in a jiffy to fetch it for him. But surprisingly he didn’t like the ball, and would throw it again. But I did not like to lose it, so I fetched it again. This went on for a while, which made me lose my patience as well as my interest. So I would just sit with my tongue hanging out of my mouth. My days were very well spent in all such leisurely activities. Then two things happened, Sumaira started going to school and her father changed his job, now he had to go to further off places for work purposes. This made him tired in the evening, and he no longer took Sumaira and me to the playground. I started spending more time lazing around the house and disturbing Sumaira’s mother with my crazy antics. In the evening, I started hearing her complaining to Sumaira’s father that I am one dumb dog, how I don’t do any tricks, so on and so forth.

Once there was a get together at the house and Sumaira’s father’s friends alongwith their families had come over, and there was a great racket around the house and I really enjoyed playing with all the little human pups who had come along. It was a great evening spent after a long time. But through the corner of my eyes, I had noticed that Sumaira’s mother surrounded by other ladies looking at me and discussing something. But I did not take much notice and continued enjoying myself with the kids. Next day I was to discover!


Next day started early. Once Sumaira and her father left, her mother showered extra attention on me. In a sing song voice, she said, “Common Rocky. Today we are going to rock”, and then she took me in her car to a far off place, with a big lawn outside. It was a great imposing building with, what humans call, the Greco-Roman architecture. Upon entering inside, my paws were sliding on the smooth as silk floor. I just loved the feeling, and tried to run but was of course restrained by the mother. We then entered a room, where I was given some simple tasks to try out, by a very stout human. After every task, to my delight, I was given mouth watering snacks. I started looking forward to more tasks. After a gruelling session of 2 hours, the stout man told the mother that I was being admitted to the institution. Oh! How happy she was. The next few weeks, this became a routine. I was learning many tricks and my treats were getting better and better. How I loved this lifestyle.

The D-day had arrived. The entire household was now with me in the Greco-Roman building. But there was a difference. Here was I, sitting separately on a pedestal along with many of my own ilk. Whereas the humans were there, making up the audience. My head was held high, avoiding eye contact with the ordinary humans. Yes, ordinary. After all, we the blue eyed denizens of the doggy world, were today sitting on a pedestal in front of the human race. I was so proud when my name was announced, “The next winner is Rocky”. And what was then said, changed my life forever. I was “Doctor Rocky!”

Nowadays I get impatient very fast. After many days, Sumaira’s father took me to the grounds again. He started that stupid game of throwing the ball. Once or twice I fetched it for him, but then I thought, if he doesn’t want the ball, why should I bring it back to him and waste my energy. No, I wasn’t going to repeat such silly acts now. After all I am smart now. A doctor, Doctor Rock, not Rocky the happy go lucky dog. I no longer sit below the table. Now I try to grab a chair for myself, after all a doctorate deserves a higher ground. The family did not like it at first, but now they accept me as their equal. Previously, when Sumaira was back from school, I used to dance around her and make her pet me. But now, I have realised my foolishness and don’t make a scene of myself. I try to maintain my dignity. But when Sumaira or her mother or father, take out the box of puzzles , the IQ Treat box of puzzles, I love to solve those puzzles which are then followed by awesome treats. The family is now getting slowly trained to my new requirements, and I like to be given my space.

So folks, let your dogs remain dogs, don’t try to make them smarter. Or one day, you won’t get such a wonderful welcome once you get home, tired from work, by your loyal loving doggy. He will start showing signs of the Teenagers sickness, a know-it-all personality replacing a love-you-all personality. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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