I often think about the adventures I shared with Molly, my late lamented dog. Once I took her to the ATM, thinking she’d be interested in the bank lobby’s lingering aromas of past nervous depositors, like me, sweating over their decisions to tap into their dwindling savings.
There was a long ATM line that day and Molly fidgeted as we waited our turn. Finally, I made a withdrawal, but Molly had made a deposit. All I had handy was the twenty dollar bill I’d just withdrawn which would have been an expensive pick-up scoop. I was sure it would no longer be legal tender. We hurried out before the others caught on and raised a stink.
Dogs have been incredibly resilient in adapting to our technological advances. When they first joined our packs it was an easy transition for them. We’d been hunting and eating them and they eventually decided to get on what looked like the winning team. Their speed and ultra sensitive noses increased our hunting parties’ chances and they readily took to herding, instead of stalking, our livestock as long as we shared our meals.
But in recent years they’ve had to prove their superiority over our many new inventions. As our loyal sentinels, for instance, dogs continue to be more efficient than doorbells and scanners at announcing the arrival of friends and strangers. The meows of fussy cats are no match for their high decibel barks.
Although dogs don’t completely understand automobiles, most of them enjoy riding in them with their heads out the window and ears flapping in the wind while they bark insults at larger dogs and haughty cats from the safety of their solid steel dogmobiles.
But they barely tolerate some modern gadgets like televisions which are linited to providing only pictures and sounds with no smells at all. Rover thinks, “What good are they? They don’t make scents!”
Then there’s their herding instinct. Many dogs have to satisfy their primeval need to guide lower animals over designated paths. In Molly’s case there was my twice daily signal to take her walk. I’d whistle and show her leash and she would get up from her nap and stretch. “The old guy needs to be guided around the neighborhood again and be brought home safely,” she’d think. “Well, that’s the price I have to pay for the kibbles and treats and the belly scratches. Okay, let’s go Sweetheart. Isn’t that the odd name your mate gave you?”