Murphy is a small, hairy dog with a lot of positive energy. He's good at his guard duties (squirrels, people on the front porch) and friendly otherwise. He's quit chewing up our stuff, and he does tricks. A little dog of many virtues. But being whip-smart was never one of them. "Trainable, but hardly brilliant" is what I've always thought. Turns out he has the same impression of me.
This morning, I was in the bathroom getting my vitamins when he barged in. This is unusual--he's not a morning creature any more than I am. But here he was, full of energy. And he did that "follow me!" thing of wagging his tail while looking over his shoulder at me. I followed him to the dining room. Yesterday, I'd sat on the floor and petted him as we both woke up. I don't usually do that, and I figured he liked it and wanted more of the same. So that's what we did.
A bit later, I was eating breakfast in the dining room and he stood by, staring at the table. So I petted him a little. Then he put both front paws on the empty seat next to me and stared at the table. "Bad dog," I said mildly, and he got down, still staring.
Finally I got it--a little pile of liver bits sat on the table, left over from training last night. He'd spotted or smelled them this morning and, rather than putting his forefeet up on the chair and lunging for it, he'd gone to get me to do it right. He's more of a Good Dog than I realized! And I am presumably a lot dimmer than he realized.
So we played Find, which is a game that consists of "sit/stay" while I sprinkle liver bits all over the house, a game that cannot be played too often in Murphy's mind. I said "Find!" and he raced off to scarf them up.
I blew the morning's Sudoku as well.
Mutual respect? I can only hope.