Monday, December 23, 2013
Funny Farmers Read Chaser
Buddy: Hey, it's the Funny Farmers mind-your-manners educational team here. Don't you dare call us "baby sitters!" Who are we baby sitting ... um, we mean educating? Why, Red aka Little Puppy No Name, of course!
Sam: Have you ever wondered how much your puppy could learn if you had hours every day to teach him? Well, first we'd like Red to learn not to steal our beds.
Buddy: I can spend two whole minutes stomping my bed into just the right shape and before I can lay down on it, I'm bed-less and Red is snoring.
Sam: And he needs to learn not to try to steal our food just because he's wolfed down his own.
Merci: And not to bite our ears. Or leap on us when we're sleeping. Or sing soprano when Jan puts him in the borrowed crate because she has to leave for a bit. That hurts our ears too, which is why we sing along - to drown him out.
Why are we going on about educating Red? Because we just finished reading a book titled Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words by John W. Pilley with Hilary Hinzmann. It has taken us a while to get through it since we have to squeeze reading time into our schedule. Usually, we take turns reading to each other in the pee/poop room. (That's the dog pen, in case you don't have a canine to human dictionary.)
A couple of years after he retired this guy, Pilley, was given a Border Collie by his wife. He spent hours each day training the dog, which he named Chaser, to learn words. First the basic commands. And some herding commands. Yes, Chaser can herd sheep, as well as "herd" his mountain of toys, each with a distinct name.
Unlike the treat method of training many humans employ, Pilley used play-based methods to teach Chaser words, names and more. Pilley is an intelligent professor/scientist and Chaser a willing student, but first and foremost throughout the training, Chaser has been a beloved pet and member of the family.
We really enjoyed this book. Pilley comes across as a man who loves animals and believes they - well, we're dogs, so we mean he believes WE are more intelligent than most men consider us to be. What a relief to know someone finally understands us.
Here's a short video preview of Chaser's story.
If the video doesn't play, click here.
Buddy: Believe it or not, the Funny Farmer Felines want to stage a protest because they believe they're every bit as intelligent as we canines and they want their own book and professional website.
Oh, Chaser, what have you started? We'll never hear the end of this.