16 Jun

In Which Tember Learns to Hate Traffic Jams

Once, while I was talking with my mom on the phone, she informed me of a doggie IQ test. I don’t remember all of the tests — which might say something about my IQ — but each one consisted of a task (such as extracting a treat from underneath an overturned cup), which was then timed and assessed by the speed with thish the dog completed it.

Mom explained each test to me over the phone, and I proceeded to administer them to Tember. The first test was to put a towel over her head and shoulders and see how fast she freed herself. She did it in about three seconds. In fact, she did most of the remaining tests in three seconds or less, thereby qualifying as a “genius.” I don’t know how difficult the tests actually were (I found them pretty easy), but I believe she’s proven herself in some other ways.

She has learned, for example, to get worried any time someone starts to use a printer since it usually just makes people angry. She also learned just this past week to hate traffic jams. We were on our wa to Milwaukee when we hit some stop-and-go traffic. I was trying to keep the stops gradual so as not to throw Tember around, but at one point, the cars ahead of me stopped very suddenly. I realized how suddenly they were stopping only mid-way through my gradual stop, at which point I started chanting “shit” cuz, you know, sometimes that helps. The problem is, Tember is familiar with such chants (thanks to the printer, for one). She started pacing around the back of the car until the traffic cleared up, when she relaxed and lay down.

The next day, as we were leaving Milwaukee, we again hit some stop-and-go traffic. There were no close calls, and thus no “chanting,” but she still got agitated. Until we hit a smooth flow of traffic.

Later, as we were entering Madison, I put it to the test. I tried some quick slow-downs followed by some acceleration, and sure enough, I got a pacing animal in the back seat.

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