Friday, June 13, 2008

Deep Thinker

Dolka, my first Samoyed, was exceptionally good at abstract thought. She thought about situations and figured things out. 

We had friends with a house on a lake, and a dock that was really a raft, tied to the shore by heavy ropes. Dolka loved to chase the ducks who grazed on the lovely front lawn, and they would fly out to the raft to wait for her to leave.

Dolka did not like the water, and did not want to get wet. She sat, stared at the ducks, the raft, and the ropes. She turned her head, obviously deep in thought, and looked at everything again. Then she trotted to the shore, grabbed a rope, and pulled the raft in. It was heavy work, but she persisted. Unfortunately for her (but happily for the ducks) when she let go of the rope so she could jump on the raft it floated back out beyond her reach.

She repeated this process three times, then gave it up. She needed another mouth or an opposable thumb, which she didn't have. But she'd made a good, logical try.


Anonymous said...

where did you get the name dolka from? what does it mean?

Judy said...

That's actually another story. Dolka came to me when her owners divorced. They called her Dana. The name didn't somehow feel right to me. I was walking her in town, when a woman came up and asked if she could pet her. "This is a very special dog" she said. "I was badly bitten by a dog when I was young, and have been terrified of them ever since. This dog is gentle and sweet. You should call her Dolka. Dolka is one of the White Taras of Tibetan Buddhism. If she dies with that name in her mind, she will go to a higher plain." Dana and I went to the arboretum for a run, and I said "Dolka". She turned and looked at me, smiling. We both knew that was her real name.