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Animals are not dumb. Just ask them!

Posted Monday, November 24, 2008, at 1:23 PM

Well..... maybe we can not exactly ask them, but I would bet a number of us have examples of some intelligent actions by both wild and domestic animals.

A video sent to me today of a raccoon entering through a pet door and enjoying the pets food made me think of our local raccoons during a short time that we did not have dogs.

A family would come in to our attached greenhouse on a nightly basis to eat our cat's food. The cats never went hungry and the coons were a little intimidating so they were never challenged, at least by our cats.

We decided that sooner or later there would be some difference of opinion so we decided to lock up the food in a latched closet. It may have taken two days beore those raccoons learned how to unlatch the door and were once again feasting.

I went out and confronted them a few times, but they were not impressed by me standing 2 feet away and shouting, so it was time to adopt another dog. We did and they moved on, but during the 2 week or so period, we got to know their different personalities.

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While I was in Africa, I had an opportunity to chat with a "bush" hunter. Fifteen years of civil war had wiped out many species in the area and hunting monkeys and chimps (or any other animal they happened upon) was how many fed their families.

He related the story of when he quit hunting chimpanzees. One day he had one in his sights and was preparing to take the shot when it covered its eyes. From that day on, he considered chimps too human-like to hunt them.

And often we can find the answers to why humans behave as they do by looking to the more obvious answers of why animals behave the way they do.

-- Posted by TNTaylor on Mon, Nov 24, 2008, at 2:19 PM

I chat with a gal in South Africa who has to run off baboons. I'll deal with the coons and skunks. Those babs took bars off her windows to get into her kitchen!!

My jack russells tease each other with pull-a-sock until one moves so the other can get the warm spot on the couch. Just the other day, Lilly acted like she was getting a treat in the kitchen...Davis RAN into the kitchen to see what he was missing. When he went back to his spot on the heater vent, Lilly was roasting. She never had treat.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Mon, Nov 24, 2008, at 3:37 PM

One of the most curious things seen on the battlefield are the reactions, or lack of reaction, of animals.

I just finished reading a story on the Murfreesboro Post of rabbits seeking refuge from the battlefield under Soldiers at the Stones River Battlefield.

In one of the training films I've used, dozens of dogs are seen running away, seconds before a terrorist bombing of a hotel. I cannot explain their actions, but it makes for an indicator that things are about to go bad.

And then there are the videos of donkeys lumbering across an open battlefield, seemingly oblivious to the battle, almost if they know that no one wishes them harm.

Animals seem to be able to read humans better than we can read them. Dogs and Dolphins in particular demonstrate their ability to interpret intent of humans.

-- Posted by TNTaylor on Mon, Nov 24, 2008, at 5:48 PM

My parents have a cat that says "want out," I would not have believed if my mom had just told me about it, but the first time I heard her I was standing in my parents kitchen with my mom and heard someone say "want out", mom started laughing and said that's the cat.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Mon, Nov 24, 2008, at 11:44 PM

i have 4 cats one dog and a rabbit that all were adopted. they each have a personality that cannot be denied. One cat, Teddie, will say Hello when you come into the room.

I love my animals so much and i notice things about them each day that is astounding. They are very intelligant.

One of my cats, Nikki, will "herd" me into the bedroom around 9:00 to go to bed. she will keep coming back to get me until i come and lay down with her.

They are so awesome and funny!

how anyone can hurt an animal is beyond me..

My neighbor poisoned a stray in the nieghborhood and it just broke my sons heart.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Wed, Nov 26, 2008, at 10:16 AM

Our most recent canine family member (Sophie) talks up a storm with our other dog when she goes for a ride. Maybe I should listen to see if I can understand, because she is extremely well trained and well mannered. I am sure her original human did not get rid of her. It was probably surviving family that did.

Why people feel the need to harm animals is beyond me. I understand hunting for food and putting an animal out of its' misery if injured or dying, but to purposely kill or injure them says something about THEIR humanity. It is troubling.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Nov 26, 2008, at 2:37 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.