For those of you familiar with David Letterman's Stupid Human Tricks, he often features people that do odd, silly tricks and this evolved from when he previously featured pets that would also do unique, quirky tricks and the segment was called, Stupid Pet Tricks, or something to that effect. Although I am about to write about an animal trick, I titled this post, Stupid Human Tricks, because it seems like I am outsmarted by one, or both of the dogs on a daily basis. For the most part, Stevie tends to be the brains of the operation and once again, she outsmarted me while Alvin stayed close by taking notes.
Every since Stevie arrived her almost a year ago, I have been forced to put their dog food containers up on my counter top or the kitchen table because although the containers both have very sturdy latches, Stevie manages to either pop the latch open or when she can't get it open she manages to tip the whole container over (they are heavy), which often results in the latch un-popping andfoodstrewn all over the floor. Before I wised up, I woke up many a time to the sound of a thud and realized that there was not a dog in sight because they were all frantically gobbling up all the food before I could get in there and shut the party down. Timmie used to love when Stevie would do it and enjoyed the fruits of her labor while I was frantically trying to scoop up a large quantities of food. Stevie also managed to do this on several occasions when I had other foster dogs here and I noticed that every one of them would gulp down the food at a frantic pace because they knew there was a limited amount of time until I (the culinary grim reaper) showed up and took it away. It took me a long time to figure out that she was actually able to pop the latch open because in order to do so, she had to find the latch (she was blind) and then make two nearly simultaneous movements of biting down and out. It isn't an easy thing to do and so I was convinced each time that I had not put the latch back on tight enough or that she was only able to un-pop it with the force that resulted in her knocking it completely over. So, I went to the trouble of positioning the food containers in ways that didn't allow her the leverage to knock them over. I tried for a long time to fix the problem without having to put the containers on the counter tops because it took up a lot of room and looked tacky. I even got a rolling container, making it nearly impossible to knock over. I finally admitted defeat and put the containers up, where they remained for several months. Recently, I put them on the floor while I was cleaning the table and it was then that I got my first glimpse of what Stevie actually does. I was more than impressed based on what I saw. She sniffed around all of the edges until she could feel with her nose where the latch was. She then managed to position her teeth just right so that she could then bite down and out. I didn't think it would be possible for a dog to figure out the two separate movements required to open it. She then got on her hind legs, kept the lid open by placing her head and neck in the container and took a very large bite of food, got down, spit the food out and then ate it. She actually knew how to store the food in her mouth to get the maximum benefit for her troubles and when she spit it out it equalled approximately one-quarter of a cup. Of course, food obsessed Alvin was right there and so very much wanted to partake in the loot but Stevie is less than generous with her stolen goods, which irked me because she wasn't even willing to share stolen merchandise with her wing man. When I have walked in on this in the past, occasionally Stevie had let a kibble or two roll away and it was only then that Alvin got a piece of the loot. When discovering what she actually did, I then kept latching the lid and then sitting on the couch and watching her perform it several times. She is able to see but not from much of a distance and it was clear that she didn't think I was around. She won't do it if I am right there, which of course establishes the fact that she knows she isn't supposed to do it. I knew I needed to get a picture of it, although I am now realizing that I actually need to video it some time because it's quite something to behold. When deciding to take a picture, I rolled the container into the kitchen and placed it in the middle of the floor where I could get the best lighting and sure enough, she fell for it. Here is a picture of the criminal caught in the act.
Alvin continues to have a food obsession and it's all he can do not to run up and take some of the loot but he's smart enough to know that Stevie would deliver an immediate smack down. Stevie is not only a thief but has violent propensities when her stolen goods are messed with. This is the same dog that stole all my strawberries, routinely gets into my purse and pulls out my wallet, and managed to pick pocket a police officer (true story). 'Ya just can't save 'em all!