Problem solving

Good Monday morning; I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We most definitely did, it was a long weekend for us as my hubby took Friday off and we had a great day at the beach with the dogs.  I want to discuss problem solving in dogs today.  Many people do not think that dogs think and/or problem solve like humans.  They may not have the exact thoughts that we have but they most certainly figure stuff out.

Last night sadly Luke had a seizure, it came on strangely and we first thought that he'd been stung on the foot by a bee.  But he started to buckle in the legs and fell into a seizure.  I lay him on the dog bed outside and sat with him in my arms.  It was a longer than usual seizure but less intense.  I sat for a good half hour on the ground with him as he slowly came out.  But while he was seizing I watched Elsa problem solving that made me smile, even though I had Luke in my arms seizing at the moment.

She has finally figured out the dog door and has worked up enough courage to actually use it without being coaxed.  She was oblivious to Luke's seizure and was merrily running around the yard with her toys. For a moment she stopped in her tracks and headed in.  I told my husband "she's getting a toy."  She knows exactly what toy that she wants to play with and will abandon all others to go and find 'the one."  I was surprised when I saw her go in the dog door on her own.  She has been going out but challenged by going in for some reason.  So in she went and I saw her pick up the new ball.  She headed towards the dog door and dropped it; then she came out. She turned around and stuck her head in the dog door. She had never carried a toy out the dog door before.

Then the whole problem solving started.  As I sat comforting Luke as much as I could I watched.  I happened to be very close to the dog door so I had a good vantage point.  In she went, picked up the ball and then as she started out the dog door, she put the ball down.  She wasn't sure that she could carry the ball out the dog door.  Out she came without the ball, looked in the door and saw it sitting there.  In she went again; picked up the ball and put it down before coming out once again.  Then she went back in, picked up the ball, put it down and ran all the way upstairs and out the kitchen door.  She went back to the dog door as if it would be there for her.  She thought for a moment.  Back in the dog door and grabbed the ball once again.  She pushed the dog door with the ball in her mouth.  She did this several times, even almost dropping the ball on the outside of the dog door.  We thought she had it when she pulled the ball in and charged up the stairs and out the kitchen with her ball.

We could see that she wanted to take the ball out the dog door.  After all the dog door is now an exciting thing for her, freedom.  She can go in and out at will, that's pretty great for a dog.  But she had finally chosen the original exit way as it held no challenge for her.  It was amazing watching her and we could not help but smile at the chain of problem solving that she was displaying.

Luke came out of his seizure and was in no hurry to get up.  He stayed in my arms a long while and then finally got to his feet.  After a little needed stabilizing he was good to go and is just fine.  I do not know what brought this seizure on, he has not had one in a very long while.  I'm just glad I was there to help him through it and to watch Elsa master the dog door.