Firstly an apology that it’s been so long since I last posted, but despite that I’m going to carry on in the same theme as the last post!

Willow sitting on stone windowsill against a plain background and looking quizzical

I have to admit to being somewhat flummoxed by Willow’s behaviour demonstrated today and would be happy to hear any theories from experts or amateurs to explain it. Here’s what happened…

Everyone else was out of the house all day today leaving me working from home with just Willow and Cat for company. I had to run a quick errand in town mid-morning which took me about half an hour. When I got back home Willow was pleased to see me as usual but strangely seemed very intent on getting into the kitchen, which was NOT usual. I should explain that our kitchen door is usually kept closed and there is a cat flap (minus the actual flap) cut into it so that Cat can come and go. Although Willow can get through the hole she categorically refuses to do so and has to have the door opened for her. So before I even took my coat off, and somewhat bemused by Willow’s behaviour, I opened the door and we both went into the kitchen.

My first thought was that the floor was dirtier than when I’d left and closer inspection showed that the dirt was in fact dark feathers. At the same time Willow was hassling me to go out into the garden through the back door. Again, this door has a cat flap in it (with an actual flap in this one) and, being the quirky dog that she is, Willow usually waits to be let out of the door rather than use it but if she’s outside she will quite happily come IN through the cat flap without needing the door to be opened. There is an exception to this but that’s a whole other story…

So I opened the door and out we both went into the garden where Willow made a beeline for our garden bench which has a large cover draped over it. She dove headfirst under one end of the bench and then wriggled out backwards with something in her mouth which she dropped in front of me.

It was a dead blackcap.

We get a lot of birds in our garden, mostly sparrows, starlings and wood pigeons but this was the first blackcap I’d seen for a few years and it was decidedly dead.

So, what I think must have happened (judging by previous behaviour) is that Cat had caught the bird in the garden and, as is her wont, brought it into the kitchen. Willow had seen this, got through the cat flap in the internal door and grabbed the dead bird, taken it out through the external cat flap and stashed it under the bench until I got home.

The only question is… why?


2 thoughts on “

  1. You have one clever and intelligent dog. Willow by the sound of it knows the rules of the kitchen and as she can’t speak she’s done the only thing she can and that’s bring the bird to you by messing up the kitchen you then followed her as she wanted you to found the ‘prize’ and put two and two together and worked out in human terms what had happened effectively telling on Cat for being naughty. Very clever my question is could we humans communicate with our animals as effectively and in as few moves as Willow did to you. Clever dog she deserves a treat.

    • Thanks Ros. I have thought in the past that Willow is better at communicating to us and understanding us than we are at communicating to her and understanding her in some ways. But then I keep reading scientific articles for which the conclusions always seem to be a variation of ‘And so animals are more intelligent than we previously thought’ so she’s not alone!

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