Not to carry on too much about the curiosities of the canine world, such as why they tend to demonstrate their happy ignorance of the social graces at the most inopportune moments, it nevertheless happens that my dog, Crazy Eddie, warrants another mention.
As I said just recently, his well-being is well, being that he’s allowed to pursue his own agenda, give or take a gentle reminder not to hog the TV remote, which, given a lack of thumbs, makes his channel surfing difficult to follow.
I don’t care how smart any dog might be, it’s not like you can say, “Hey, Buster, it’s time for ‘Chicago PD’” and expect positive results.
Besides, dogs can’t read, have a vocabulary limited to — “No,” “Okay” “Sit,” “Hungry?” and “Squirrel!”— and are poor at math.
If you asked a dog to count, it knows only what it sees, which adds up to one. You can show a dog 45 dog biscuits in two outstretched hands and it still counts as one, because the next number to a dog is “more.”
The same thing applies to dogs’ concept of time. As others have observed, the only time a dog knows is “now,” excluding, of course, when it watches you walk out the door and either gives you that look, or starts barking, which translates to, “Aghhhhhhh! I’ve been abandoned! They’re never coming back!”
If you don’t believe that a dog knows only “now” or “never,” wave a bag of French fries under its nose and say “later.” Then remove your hand from its mouth, which has swallowed the hand that feeds it up to the third knuckle.
This doesn’t mean, however, that a dog is incapable of patience when the circumstances require it. Which brings me back to Crazy Eddie, a hunting dog of such ability that rodents everywhere would scare their kids into behaving with “Eddie’s Going to Get You” stories, that is if he hadn’t already gotten mom and dad on their way to the honeymoon suite.
Just the other day — and this is not a lie — we timed him as he sat by the can of bird seed that sits on the side of the house and which, naturally, will occasionally attract a wayward little vermin that sees spillage and thinks, “free lunch.”
I say “wayward,” because any resident rodent would know this is the Corner of Doom, where many a vagrant voyager of the mouse persuasion has been dispatched by the Ed the Dreaded Destroyer.
On this one occasion, he apparently sniffed out an interloper in birdseed valley, determined its location was beyond his reach, and sat there. And sat there. And sat some more.
Altogether, he sat staring at one spot behind a collection of rakes and shovels for two hours and 10 minutes. I kid you not.
He might have shifted position once, and only then probably because sitting in a pile of sunflower seeds can, when you’re not wearing pants, as he is apt not to do, can lead to certain discomforts.
Unable to take it anymore, we went out to dislodge the visitor from its perch, at which time it went like this: pounce, pounce, the end. “Now, what’s for breakfast?”
We tried to explain that he had missed breakfast by at least an hour, but he wasn’t having it. He whined, he barked, he danced and insisted, “That was then, this is now.”