Abe’s first job

Abe recognizes several words in English. He knows walk, treat, good, and bad. But we learned today that he knows much more than that. We talk to Abe constantly, and he’s usually attentive. He raises his left ear every time I ask him a question and sometimes tilts his head as though he’s considering how to respond. Before I tell my story, let me remind you that Abe has not had any schooling.

Greg was talking to Abe about taking him to work. Greg is allowed to take Abe to the office with him, but he doesn’t because Abe barks and causes a commotion.

“What do you want to do for a job, Abe?” Greg asked. Abe danced around in response.

“Do you want to be a biscuit-eater?” Greg asked. Abe gave a little yap and remained seated at Greg’s feet.

“Do you want to be a cat chaser?” Greg asked.

“Roof!” Abe said. He stood up, scurried into the kitchen where Winston was standing, sniffed Winston, and came running back to Greg.

Clearly this dog has dreams. But if he knows so much English, why doesn’t he respond when I tell him not to run into the mud?