My nickname for Dexter is “Snuffy” after the Snuffleupagus character in Sesame Street, the kid’s TV show that was popular when I was a pre-teen. Dexter has a heart of gold, a nose that can find a leaf fascinating – or detect a burrowing Gopher in my neighbor’s yard even after a rain. Each dog has a particular talent.
Where Comet has little to no interest in dog toys, Dexter will play with a dirty, torn Fox squeaky toy for some time. And he can do back flips and snaps to catch it when thrown. Comet has no interest in chasing birds, nor chasing dog toys, but he does understand if he sits, he has earned a dog biscuit. And he quickly picked up hand signal commands as well as voice commands on our walks.
Despite shortcomings, it’s as obvious about dogs as it is with politician, that a bad habit, or modicum of talent can be overlooked with lots of charisma. Dexter isn’t quite a guard dog; Comet isn’t quite self-assured ( that is, he’s often ‘needy’). But after running up and down hills for Comet and playing with old chew toys for Dexter, I am beginning to think the keenest mind is the not the one jumps out of bed daily to walk the dogs at 6 AM, works all day and then walks them again at 8 at night.