are dogs smarter than humans?

by Bella Rum

I’ve spent the past few days cogitating about our situation with C and Dad. Sleepless nights offer ample time to wander down countless paths. That’s my M.O. when faced with a stressful dilemma – unproductive worrying, imagining worst case scenarios, inability to sleep, poor eating habits, etc. After a few days of this relentless maltreatment of mind, body and spirit, I regain perspective, settle down and begin thinking of options and solutions, but I almost always go through a few days of this particular brand of self-inflicted hell before sanity reigns.

Deep breath…

Things will work out.

On another note, I went shopping for bathing suits with two friends last night. Oh, lordy! Is there anything more irreverent or downright bawdy than a couple of 60-something women trying on swim suits under that odious illumination that passes for department store lighting. Good grief. Whose idea was it to force women to “take it all off” under those lights? I know this is becoming a recurring theme since our bathroom mirror incident.

Then we went to dinner and I was distracted by a grandfather and his two young grandchildren who were sitting in the booth behind us. The grandmother was there, but I never heard her speak. The little boy stated that dogs were smarter than humans. His grandfather, openly disturbed by this, asked the boy where he had gotten this notion.

Boy ~ A book.

Gramps ~ Well, it isn’t true.

Boy ~ I think it is.

Gramps ~ You actually think dogs are smarter than people.

Boy ~ Yes.

Gramps ~ Can they talk?

Boy ~ No.

Gramps ~ Can they write?

Boy ~ No.

Gramps ~ Do they have jobs?

Boy ~ No. (which i thought was a point in the dog’s favor)

Gramps ~ Do you still think they’re smarter.

Boy ~ Yes.

Gramps ~ Are pigs smarter than people?

Boy ~ Pigs will eat anything.

Gramps ~ That’s not what I asked.  Are horses smarter than people?

And on and on… This conversation continued for the duration of the meal.  The grandfather pounded the kid relentlessly, using every logical argument he could think of, but the kid refused to change his opinion.

Never once did Gramps ask his grandson why he believed dogs were smarter. My guess is that the little boy read a story about a dog who was lost and traveled over a hundred miles to arrive at his home, or a dog who made it possible for a disabled person to live a more productive life, or a dog who tracked the scent of a lost child, or a dog who dialed 911 when his master suffered a heart attack. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get my drift.

The little boy obviously had something to tell his grandpa, but Grandpa wasn’t interested. Exasperated, he finally told his grandson to do him a favor, “Never repeat this to anyone. They will think you’re stupid.”

And that was the most powerful statement of all in favor of the beast. Dogs don’t tell their grandkids that others will believe they’re stupid if they offer up a controversial idea or a new perspective on an old theory. Besides, dogs always make you feel like you’re a better person than you actually are. And they don’t have jobs.

Case closed.

Edit: Oops! Bug informed me that dogs do have jobs. Of course they do. There are herd dogs, police dogs, companion dogs, etc. There’s even a show called Dogs With Jobs. So there. Thanks Bug.