A Sense of Humor?
Louie was a real dog's dog. He had little use for humans. He even went out of his way to avoid any form of human affection or praise. Perhaps being such a huge dog (my guess is that he was part Saint Bernard, part Collie, part Grizzly) had something to do with his confident and independent demeanor. Anyway, I didn't know Louie that well -- I only saw him maybe four times in my life -- but I'll never forget the day that we connected in a most unusual way.
I walked out of Louie's owner's house and toward my car, which was parked down the street. "Hey Louie," I said to the mutt, who was standing in the driveway. Louie looked at me indifferently, then looked away. Because of a high hedge, we lost sight of each other as I turned and walked up the sidewalk. Coming back from my car, I gave a succinct bark. I have a fairly convincing bark, so I wasn't surprised when Louie responded with a similar bark. I barked again. Again, Louie responded. I then stepped into Louie's view. He looked at me, then, realizing that I was not what he expected, quickly looked back toward the direction of the last bark. I paused for a moment, then gave another bark. Louie's head quickly turned back toward me. His mind was working. After about a second, the expression of this dog's face changed completely. The corners of his mouth rose. Louie was obviously smiling. I know it seems odd, perhaps even unbelievable, but not only did that dog know he had been fooled, he "got" the joke.
I didn't pat Louie as I walked by -- I knew he wouldn't care for any physical display of affection. I just smiled back and walked into the house.
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