Canine brains

I opened the door to let Elsa out yesterday around 5:00pm; when she shot like a bullet around the corner and out of sight.  She was definitely after something.  Within seconds the cushions that had been stacked due to rain were strewn around by the wrecking committee, Miss Elsa.  Her prey was a lizard; it is her common prey in the backyard and she loves stalking and chasing them.  She does occasionally catch them but not often. 

I watched and saw the little guy make a run for it unnoticed.  I thought that he had made his escape while the curly blonde monster continued to dig in the cushions.  Suddenly her ears shot up; standing frozen she looked at one spot.  It amazes me that dogs can pinpoint something with such precision.  After following his scent of his very tiny footprints by freshness; she'd found him hiding just around the corner of her outdoor dog bed that was stacked with the rest of the cushions.  

Elsa did get him out but and placed him on the ground.  He looked alive but remained frozen; a smart move on his part.  Elsa does not have much attraction to a still or dead lizard. Her trigger is movement and if it is dead; she doesn't want it anymore.   

Thinking that I might just be able to save him I told her to "LEAVE IT" loudly.  I meant it and I was not going to let her finish him off.  She was a mass of solidified muscle; her stare locked on her prey, waiting.  Not wanting her to make a grab for him I moved between the tiny guy and the hunter.  "In the house" I said to her and she never flinched.  She had no intention of leaving him and I knew that she would go in the house but not without grabbing him first.  I blocked the way and she gave me that "crap Mom," look and in the house she went.  

A few minutes later she came out looking for the lizard; but he was gone, saved.  She rooted through the cushions for a moment but knew he was no longer present; there was no fresh scent so she moved on.  She stared at me for a moment as I sat on the lounge; hoping for me to say the words she longed to hear.  "Go find your ball" I told her.  Off she went into the house like a flash once again.  Only seconds later she came out with her favorite ball; the one that has the most wear on it.  I've tried to switch it up onto a newer version but she likes the old yucky one.  

She got a few tosses of the ball and then I told her "that's it."  Without complaint or question she curled up beside me to relax and take in the evening.  She's smart, she is insanely smart.  An hour later as the chill dropped down on us with the darkening sky; I asked her if she was hungry.  Immediately she got up and head into the kitchen, looking back at me to follow.  Life with poodles is truly like living with curly coated people.  

Dogs are so much smarter than most people EVER realize.  You can go through life thinking that's it's just a dog.  Or you can realize that you are living with a creature so smart that it is mind boggling.  All dogs are highly intelligent.  Not all are driven the same; and what makes one tick may not be a bore to another.  It is our job, our privilege to discover each individual.  So much to be unraveled.  Are you up for it?