Are Pets Intelligent Enough to Understand Us?
By Vivian Gilbert Zabel
Whether or not animals are â€œsmartâ€ or just react according to instinct has been debated for many years. A German shepherd grabs the back of a three-year-oldâ€™s pants as she tries to climb over the backyard fence: Is that herding â€œinstinctâ€ or the intelligence of a pet knowing the child was not supposed to be climbing over the fence.? I am one of the people who say some animals, especially some pets, understand us and show intelligence.
The German shepherd mentioned previously grew up with our daughter. When both were nearly three-months old, I sat the baby in an infant seat just inside the back screen door, where I could see her, while I hung up clothes on the line. Pepper ran around the fenced yard, coming by for attention before taking off again. My daughter, who had been happily playing with her hands, started crying. I put the diaper in my hands back in the basket of clothes and started toward the door. Pepper rushed by me, hopped up the steps, and gave a soft â€œwoofâ€ at the baby. The baby stopped mid-sob, stared wide-eyed at the dog, and burst into giggles, her first laugh.