Chapter 5 – The Paper Trick

We will now break up the story a little bit as I tell you about the paper trick.  It is appropriate from a timeline standpoint anyway, since Gabby first did it when she was about a year and a half old. She is 12 in the video below.
The neat thing about this trick is I never taught it to her. She figured it out for herself, in front of my family one summer day that I will never forget.  I knew early on that Gabby was a smart dog, but this was just the start of seeing her figuring out how to push buttons and solve problems on her own.

Sally and Gabby
My sister was visiting from South Carolina with her family and their dachshund, Sally.

We were at my grandmother’s house together and Gabby was 19 months old at the time. We were talking in the den and Gabby’s toy was on a newspaper on the padded seat of my grandmother’s walker. Gabby stood on her hind legs to try and get her toy, but she could not quite reach it.  So, she stood up again, took the edge of the newspaper in her teeth, and started inching the paper off the walker bit by bit until the toy fell off and fell to the ground. She then took the toy in her mouth and trotted away.

My sister looked with amazement, literally wide-eyed.  “THAT’S smart,” she said. I never saw Gabby do anything like that before and wondered myself.  

“Let’s try that again,” I said as I took the toy from Gabby. Gabby started to bounce up and down like she wanted me to throw it.  Instead, I centered the newspaper on the walker seat and put the toy on it again.

Gabby walked up, stood on her hind legs, grabbed the paper, inched it bit by bit until the toy fell off again.  She definitely knew what she was doing and understood the relationship between the toy, the paper, the walker seat, and the floor.

She did things like that all the time.  For example, if she could not grab a toy under a table, she would knock it forward, go to the other side and grab it.