I’ve heard there are some people who try to teach dogs how to read. I don’t know if it works or not, but that’s what I’m good at – teaching other dogs to read. So I invented a sentence game for the dogs at the Dog Library. I showed them six sentences from some books I brought. Then they were supposed to try and read them. Not by smell, but with the words themselves.
The object of the game was to try to read as many sentences as possible. Each dog got a turn. If they knew how to read the sentence, they wagged their tail. If they didn’t, they barked. They couldn’t wag and bark at the same time – they had to choose. At the end of the game, the dog with the most wags won.
Sentence #1: He was barking up the wrong tree.
First the dogs wanted to know what was wrong with the tree. They were already learning to read.
Sentence #2: Cat got your tongue.
They all wanted to know whose tongue that was. But they all wagged their tail.
Sentence #3: The cat climbed a tree.
It was an easy sentence to read, so all the dogs wagged again. But a golden retriever wanted to know if he could take out the word ‘cat’ and keep the word ‘tree’. I had to remind him that this wasn’t a word game.
Sentence #4: He was a Sagittarius, Libra rising.
The dogs didn’t even try to read that. They all barked.
Sentence #5: May the force be with you.
They had no idea what that was. So they all barked again.
Sentence #6: The stuff that dreams are made of.
The dogs were a bit divided on this one. A little terrier thought maybe stuff had something to do with stuffed toys, so he wagged his tail. But the other dogs barked. They didn’t understand why there was stuffing in dreams.
It wasn’t close – the terrier won.
I promised I’d be back to play the sentence game again.