Boo-Boo (Brutus) was our first dog. He was mostly Beagle at least in size and temperament, brown and black in marking, and very bright. This was obvious in how quickly he took to evidencing and learning certain behaviors and joining in as a member of our family, which soon included Cleo, a pure white and very productive cat in that she gave birth to 48 kittens. This was the way we lived until Heidi and Jeff joined us. Although we lived in tight quarters, to be sure, we all got along exceptionally well—many wonderful memories.
The story, for now, is about how Brutus entertained us. He would sit straight up in my arms and do numbers for us. If I asked him to multiply, divide, subtract or add, Brutus would do just that by barking the correct answer. For example, I would ask him to multiply 3×3, and he’d bark nine times. Or to divide, I’d say two into four, and he’d bark twice. It may sound like I was giving him cues, but not true. This incredible animal did what he did (almost everything) when he saw that something ought to be done. One example was bringing the morning paper to me. I never asked or trained him. He possessed intelligence that amazed.
When Heidi joined our family as a puppy, Brutus took on the role of mentor to Heidi. And Heidi (ultimately a huge German Shepard) came to adore her little friend. In fact, they were twins in the way they cooperated and communicated—Here’s an example. We bought a steak (a rare purchase at that time) for dinner. Lenette placed the steak carefully on the BBQ and left it for a few moments. Heidi and Brutus both knew that what we set on the BBQ was for us, and they would get whatever scraps were leftover. We never missed sharing food with them, so we never experienced prior “theft.” But it happened. With Boo Boo’s guidance, Heidi gently pulled the steak off the grill. Then, off in the corner of the yard, they indulged. Guilt may have oozed out of them, but the steak they still enjoyed. And so it goes.
Not as expected——–Things do not go as we want——-The steak our story.