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Smarter Than Me

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt 3/6/2017
Smarter Than Me

We have a large (75 lbs or so) Labrador Retriever, his name is Boo Boo, but generally just referred to as Boo. Big, still young, all muscle, and still frisky. A lot of dog, but a sweet heart of a dog too. Whenever I grab my fly rod and head for the river Boo is out in front. I think he is always watching the door. If I don't have a fly rod he is likely to not pay any attention at all to me, but once I have that rod in my hand, he knows it's time to play in the river.

He watches to see which way I'll go, as there are two different places that I enter the river. Once he knows which one it is, he is off and running. Usually by the time I get my first foot wet he is already swimming and halfway across to the other side. Boo is a water dog, year round he loves the water. I think he may be amphibious.

But Sunday was different. I headed for the boat ramp entry point. Boo ranged out ahead of me as usual, but he didn't get in the river ahead of me. In fact he dawdled around at the edge, sniffing the water. Then he deliberately got in front of me and stopped. I had to detour around him, which irritated me a little as he could have stopped anywhere else without hindering me. Minor irritation, more of a "what is wrong with this dog today" kind of thought.

When I was halfway across the river I noticed that Boo wasn't in sight, I looked back and he was still on the ramp, up out of the water. I've never seen him hesitate like that, not ever. Again I was thinking "what is wrong with him today" but not really giving it deep thought. Boo barked at me, twice. From the ramp. Another first.

As I got to the shallow side I started to wade up river to a good spot and then I spotted Boo swimming across. But instead of swimming across he was swimming to me, straight to me. Usually he goes straight across and disappears into the brush and does whatever dogs do in those circumstance. I won't see him again for 45 minutes to an hour when he'll appear well up river working his way back down towards me, following the bank and sniffing everything. Still on the far side from our house at this point.

But this time he swam straight over to me, butted me with his head a couple of times, then to the bank to catch his breath, then back to me out in the middle, bumps me with his head a couple of times and then straight over to our side of the river where he climbs out and stands staring at me.

By now I've figured out that the river is coming up, and coming up pretty fast. I hadn't made two casts before I'd realized that I needed to get back out. Boo had known it was coming up, I don't know how he knew, but there's no doubt he knew.. Boo is smart, he stays out of the river when the current gets going. He's been caught on the far side of the river when it came up, and he didn't like it a bit, sitting over there howling at us to come get him. 

He tried to warn me at least five times. He blocked me from getting into the water, barked at me twice from the bank, swam out and tried to nudge me, swam back and tried to nudge me. 

When I started wading back he began dancing and jumping and running in circles. He was relieved that his dumb ass human had finally figured it out. 

He was trying not to say that he was smarter than me, but that's what he was saying. Wish I could disagree.
Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Blog Comments
Kennywho, TX   3/6/2017 8:29:31 AM
Doesn't take much for a dog to outsmart us! LOL
JKaboom, CO   3/7/2017 7:51:42 PM
That is awesome to have such a good dog!!
skiman, CO   3/8/2017 10:53:25 AM
Lloyd, I'll bet you pay more attention to what Boo is trying to tell you next time. Who can explain the "sixth sense" a lot of animals are endowed with? Good story, thanks!
Scottjr, CO   3/9/2017 9:47:49 AM
Thanks for sharing, there are many reasons that Dogs are mans best friend and this is just one example lol!!
DavidTheBeloved, CO   3/14/2017 2:57:14 PM
I know I'm late but I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this story. I've had both a German Shepard and now a large lab myself. Both are smart dogs and really know how to keep us in check. Glad you both are safe.