A word of advice: don’t let a dog do your taxes. Generally speaking, they are terrible at math.
Moreover, they have no thumbs and therefore are unable to use a keyboard space bar properly, which means they also are not whizzes at running spreadsheet scenarios.
I say this after observing my dog, Crazy Eddie (who has become Crazy Old Eddie) run his own calculations and then realizing that while he can count to a certain degree, his ability to apply his math skills logically is seriously lacking.
As for his being able to count, the fact is all dogs can do that. They begin with “one,” of course, which is followed by “one more.”
It’s the canine “Snack Equation,” and were it to be expressed in the form of an exponent, it would be “1more” or “one to the power of more.”
In the dog world, 1more represents the infinite number of treats that a dog wants, regardless of how many you actually have, or how many he has consumed.
I suspect a dog could eat a sofa-sized Pupperoni and a backhoe bucket of Beggin’ Strips, and still look up at you afterwards with eyes that say, “Well, what’s the holdup, you cheap so-and-so?”
Worse, if they don’t get it, they’ll walk away from you like you’re a stranger.
I’m pretty sure that my two dogs — C.O.E. and Special K — communicate that disappointment to each other.
“Psst. Just walk away like he doesn’t even exist,” C.O.E says to Special K. “Maybe he’ll feel guilty and give us 1more.”
“Yeah,” she replies. “And add a limp. That generally works for me.”
The thing is, I give this pair at least 10 to 15 dog snacks a day because I’m a sucker. They also get their two squares with extras.
But are they by my side day and night? No, they are not ... because they are keeping an eye out for the neighbor, who gives them something one time a day.
That’s right, once a day, and yet they act as if the sun and stars revolve around this individual, because he can be depended on to deliver when they see him.
I, on the other hand, cannot be counted on, apparently, and am therefore not worth following around.
That’s when it occurred to me that dogs are not great mathematicians, especially when it comes to calculating ratios or percentages.
“Follow my logic,” C.O.E. says to Special K. “We know that Neighbor X is absolutely going to come through when we see him. On the other hand, we may or may not get something at home. So I say, we concentrate on the sure thing, and not worry about the sometimes thing at home even though there’s more of it, because he’s just not dependable.”
“Makes perfect sense to me,” she replies.
In the meantime, I’m expected to give them something on their return, because ... well, that’s just how things add up when you’re a dog.