How Smart Is Your Dog or Cat?
by Krista Davis
Many years ago, as I prepared to leave on a date, I told my dog I would be home in a few hours. Apparently, that upset my date. At dinner, he began with, “You know your dog doesn’t understand what you say, don’t you?” Then he launched into a lengthy lecture. He told me dogs have brains the size of walnuts and can’t think. He explained in some detail that dogs merely react to tones of voice. According to him, they can distinguish between angry and happy tones, but nothing more.
I recall trying to be polite. I remember trying to change the subject. But the guy would not let go. It must have really bothered him that I talked to my dog. When he persisted, I finally asked the big question, “Have you ever had a dog?”
Of course he hadn’t! You can imagine my laughter when he confessed. It was our one and only date. Clearly, we weren’t right for each other. No big loss. He was a pretty bright guy (about other things) whom I saw at social occasions now and then, but the dog conversation is the only thing I remember about him.
Anyone who has ever had a dog can tell you how smart they are. My golden retriever tricks one of my dogs when he’s sleeping where she wants to be. She stares at him first. I can see the annoyance building. Next, she goes to the door and asks to go outside. The minute she’s outdoors, she barks. The other dog wakes, rushes outside and before he’s fully out the door, my golden retriever races back in and makes herself comfortable where he was sleeping. What amuses me so much about this little trick is that it takes planning. She knows exactly what she’s doing.
Researchers at the Max Plank Institute determined that a dog understood about 200 words. And now there’s another dog, named Chaser, who understands over 1,000 words. That probably won’t come as a surprise to dog owners. Or to cat owners, for that matter. My cats know what “squirrel” and “bird” mean.
My dogs know people’s names, too. There are names I can’t say without all the dogs barking and running to the front window to look for that person. I think they’re much smarter than we give them credit for. In my new book, Murder, She Barked, the animals don’t speak, but they help the protagonist solve crimes.
What clever things do your dogs and cats do?
To celebrate the launch of Murder, She Barked, Krista’s dogs and cats are looking for dogs and cats to join their street crew. They’re giving away Murder, She Barked bandanas to two lucky dogs or cats who leave comments here today (it’s okay if their people leave comments for them)! Photos of winners (hopefully wearing their new Murder, She Barked bandanas) will be posted on Krista’s website (http://kristadavis.com/paws-and-claws-mysteries/murder-she-barked-street-crew.html) and on Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/kristadavisbook/murder-she-barked-street-crew/) so your dogs and cats can share with their friends.
Krista Davis’s new series for animal lovers debuts on December 3rd, with Murder, She Barked. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and cupcakes. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats. The Diva Frosts a Cupcake is the seventh book in her Domestic Diva Mystery series. Three of those books have been nominated for Agatha awards and three have made the extended New York Times Bestseller list.
Murder, She Barked:
A Paws & Claws Mystery (A Paws and Claws Mystery)
Brand New Series
Release Date: December 3, 2013
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Diane Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
The Sugar Maple Inn in Wagtail, Virginia, is the country’s premiere vacation hot spot for pet owners who can’t bear to leave their furry friends behind. But this tourist town smells trouble when a killer goes on the prowl….
Holly Miller’s life has gone to the dogs. She has no job and her boyfriend’s old girlfriend wants him back and since she is his boss’s daughter she is always around. Then she gets a phone call to return home to Wagtail from her grandmother’s friend saying her grandmother needs her. She wastes no time, hops into her boyfriend’s car, tells him she will call when she knows more and heads to Virginia. She makes a quick stop for gas before heading up the mountain and picks up a “hitchhiker” – A Jack Russell Terrier who has been left behind by someone makes himself right at home in the car.
When they reach Wagtail both are welcomed with open arms. Her grandmother seems fine but Holly decides to stick around. It’s been a long time since they have spent time together and she thinks her grandmother is keeping something from her.
Then she learns there was a hit and run accident and one of the Inn’s employees was killed. Holly thinks it may not have been so much of an accident. She is like a dog with a bone as she and her furry friends do their best to sniff out the killer.
What a wonderful idea for a cozy mystery series – Paws & Claws!! Wagtail sounds like an animal lover’s paradise. Imagine a town dedicated to pets and their humans. Because you know we don’t own out pets, they are part of our family and they each have their own person/s. My husband is definitely our 2 dogs person. They tolerate being left here with me while he is at work but when he gets home I no longer exist unless they want to lick my ice cream bowl. The Jack Russell and a cute little calico kitten have both chosen Holly as their person.
Krista Davis has created a wonderful setting in Wagtail. There is no way to describe this idyllic place in this review, you will just have to read the book. I would love to live there 365 days a year.
She has also given us a wonderful group of characters both 2 legged and 4 legged. Unique, colorful and real and they span all ages. Add to that a well-plotted mystery that keeps us guessing to the finish.
If I had a tail it would be wagging in pure delight. I loved this story!! A fantastic series debut!! I cannot wait for my visit to The Sugar Maple Inn.
In addition to Krista’s giveaway I have 2 copies of Murder, She Barked
courtesy of Penguin to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Krista for 5 Bonus Entries and an entry to win a bandanna!
What clever things do your dogs and cats do?
If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End December 4, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”