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Charlie: A Bad Good Dog or a Good Bad Dog

This tweet explains why.

Upon examination the wallet was old, torn and empty, suggesting it had been abandoned to the trash or that the neighbors gave it to their own dog as a chew toy, but still. It was a bit of a shock to see Charlie wander up onto the deck with a wallet.

For the record the wallet has been returned to the neighbors, along with a rubber carrot that Charlie pilfered earlier this morning. Fortunately our neighbors like Charlie and seem unlikely to press charges. Also, on our last dog toy purchasing spree, we bought some toys for Buckley (the neighbor dog) as compensation for the toys Charlie has “borrowed” and shredded. We pay for her criminality, is what I’m saying.

— JS

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

23 replies on “Charlie: A Bad Good Dog or a Good Bad Dog”

I mean ya gotta get these kids while they’re young.
First it’s stealin dog toys, next they’re robbin banks and clockin little ole ladies over the head! LOL!

I think it’s cute, albeit potentially expensive if she keeps it up. :)

Once upon a time I volunteered at a wolf refuge. At that refuge we had the “Home Pack”, which was a handful of (largely ex-pet) wolves socialized to do educational outreach. If you were lucky, under controlled and very much supervised conditions you could go into their enclosure and get your face slobbered all over.

One day this photographer dude decides to go in with some of the volunteers and the man who owned the refuge, and while CameraDude was focusing on one wolf with a telephoto lens, another one walked up to him, deftly slipped his wallet out of his chest pocket, and marched right over to drop the wallet at the owner’s feet. CameraDude didn’t even see it happen.

She was very proud of herself. We did a lot of “we did not train her to do that oh god” sputtering. I think CameraDude mostly regretted no one, well, got it on camera.

Charlie is no longer NAKED!
A very fashionable collar, but he needs a identification license.
My dog chased a horse. The horse owner called the dog warden. My dog got arrested and we had to bail him out. The fines increased, with more arrests.
His partner in crime, was smart enough to run away.
But without an ID we would never have know he was arrested.

I was thinking that this is clearly the beginning of your origin as a supervillain with a loyal pack of trained crime dogs, but then I realized that of course the TRUE mastermind is Chrissy and you’re just the loyal and slightly goofy lieutenant.

Our two schnauzers only leave the yard when they’re on a leash with us, and are “in a pack” only with each other (and with us, of course). So having them wander next door and returning with someone else’s toys just doesn’t exist in their universe.

But even so, it’s pretty obvious that the most attractive toy in the world is the one the other is playing with. And that it’s a major victory and point of pride if they can snag it and get away with it.

They also know that the best way to get their toy back is to show interest in a different one, so that when that one becomes the other’s focus, they can go back and snag the one they had before.

I’m sure different breeds have different instincts, but it seems to me that this isn’t “good dog” or “bad dog” behavior, so much as “dog” behavior.

Charlie needs to learn the principle I was taught as a child: if the proceeds from a crime aren’t enough to support you in the fashion which you wish to become accustomed in a place you can’t be extradited, it’s not worth it.

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