Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Who Said "You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks"?

The answer to the last beagle puzzle is...
"You can't teach an old dog new tricks".

The clues were:
1)Me doing a new trick (catching a kibble mid-air); and
2) The verse "At the ripe age of seven", which in human terms is close to 50 years old!

Majority guessed this saying accurately. We also had a couple of votes for "Bark worse than a bite", which I thought was pretty good too coz it did look like I was going to bite and a vote for "It's a dog's life"...which also made sense. Well done everyone! Thanks for being such great sports. Bagel gets the "Dog Series" award for the being the clever beagle to correctly guess the dog saying first! Feel free to post the award on your blog, if you want to, Bagel.

The saying "You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks" means that learning to do new things is difficult because it is hard to forget the old ways and habits. Now, this may apply to humans but as this 7-year old beagle has proven, an old dog can learn new tricks given the right motivation - food! I think that a canine's ability to learn new tricks is dependent on the human's ability to teach the trick more so than anything else!

In defense of humans, mum reckons that whilst challenging, it is possible for older folks to learn new things. She cites the example of gramps learning to use the Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Back in his younger days, withdrawal of money used to be done over the counter and they didn't have ATMs (which only became main-stream in mid to late 1980's). Mum also says that gramps learnt how to send SMS in his late 50's and is now quite an expert in sending messages from his mobile phone ! She does agree though that it is not easy for older folks to master new technology but when there's a will, there's a way.

I reckon it's much easier for old doggies to learn new tricks. In fact the catching kibble in mid-air trick was learnt just in time for this post. Dad was mucking around with the Lumix and decided to teach me this new trick. When mum saw the photo, she knew she had the winning shot for this dog saying!

One of the earliest tricks I learnt as a pup from my humans was the "shake" trick. I can do right and left paw to accomodate both right and left-handed humans! Below, I'm doing this trick for a friend. Last year, mum taught me "High Five", which is an extension of the "Shake" command, but alas, she hasn't taken a photo of me doing that trick yet...

I can also do the "roll-over" trick quite successfully, so much so that I can automatically do this trick before the humans ask me to when I know they have a treat at hand.

My humans didn't teach me all the tricks I know. Some are learnt instinctively. As a pup, I used to pick up a large leaf stalk or a stick when I used to go for walks. When I was an adult, I automatically picked up my own leash, much to the surprise of my humans.

Some tricks backfire on my humans though. Remember the "Shake" trick? Well, this is a trick I taught myself this year. When my humans are sitting comfortably on the sofa watching TV, I sit really close to mum (mostly), and the lift my paw to her knee to get her attention. Sometimes, it's to remind her that it's time for my dinner. Other times it's to tell her I want a tummy rub!

So who said "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"? They've obviouly not met this beagle. If you're an old dog, tell us your new tricks story! If you're a young pup, share with us too.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another beagle puzzle

This beagle has proven
At the ripe age of seven
This saying is untrue
So I bet you can too

Hi everyone! It's been a busy time. Gramps had just undergone a total knee replacement surgery. Mama's been busy juggling her work project and helping gramps out. I've been busy working as a therapy dog - cheering gramps and encouraging him to walk around the garden. We've finally managed to catch a short breather and have racked our brains to come up with another beagle puzzle. As always, this is a doggie saying, and quite a famous one too. The first doggie/human to guess the answer wins the "Dog Series Award". Have fun guessing! The answer will be posted sometime next week.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Doggie Bag with a Twist

In my last post, I wrote about the doggie bag - a bag given to a customer in a restaurant or to a guest at a party for putting leftovers in to take home. The picture clue in the beagle teaser was a bright green bag. Boo Casanova was wondering whether Malaysian restaurants actually give out such cute doggie bags...Well, Boo, get ready for the answer:

"What does this sign have to do with the doggie bag?" you ask...

Well, here's the twist to the teaser. The bright green "doggie" bag is actually a poop scooper. It has a tissue container by the side and a clip handle. What you do is take a tissue and cover the poop. Then, using the clip handle, open the bag and scoop up the tissue with the poop. Isn't it nifty? See the picture below for a demonstration (minus the poop lest we offend some people!)

I decided to give mum a break from poop scoop duty and picked up after myself for once. After all, with this trendy "doggie" bag, I will probably become the neighbourhood canine fashionista!

Congratulations Lorenza for being the first to guess the bag correctly! You're the second recipient of the "Dog Series" Award. Feel free to post in on your blog, if you wish. Amber Mae also identified it accurately. Well done Amber!

P.S. I've also added Lorenza's and Cookie & Cinnamon's contribution to the take away/doggie bag in Mexico and Japan in the last post.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Beagle teaser revealed

Sweet Molly and handsome Taffy
The first to guess correctly
Here is your well-deserved reward
The very first "Dog Series" award

Yes folks, my new pals, Molly and Taffy were the first doggie bloggers who correctly guessed the answer to the beagle teaser last Friday - "Doggie Bag". (Molly and Taffy, feel free to post this award on your blog.) Congratulations to the rest who also correctly guessed the answer to the beagle teaser. I decided to post the answer up earlier since there was already a correct guess. But, stay tuned on Thursday for a little twist to the bag!

A doggie bag is a bag given to a customer in a restaurant or to a guest at a party for putting leftovers in to take home. But do humans really take home the leftovers for their beloved dogs? What do they call the bag if the humans don't have dogs at home?

Shocking horrors...the food isn't actually for dogs...In fact, the term doggie bag is a so-called "transparent pretense" that the food is taken home to feed the customer's dog, when in fact it's for the humans! Now, if you were a beagle like me, who love food, you would protest over the use of this term. If you're going to use a doggie bag to bring food home, you better be bringing it for your dog! Don't you agree?

Just in case you're interested, here's some of the terms used when someone wants to bring left over food home or take away in the following languages:
1) Chinese (cantonese) - ta pau (pack)
2) Malay - bungkus (pack)
3) Thai - kap bahn (go home)
4) Mexican (Lorenza) - Para llevar
5) Japanese (Cookie and Cinnamon) - Ori (box for take away)

Do drop me a note if you know how to say "doggie bag" or "take away" in another language. I also had an earlier post on "Thank you" in 21 different languages, if you're interested to learn.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Beagle teaser

Here's the picture clue
For a beagle teaser
Who will first breakthrough
And guess the correct answer?

Hint: It's a "dog" word or phrase (but you would already have guessed that!). All the best! Swing by next Thursday for the answer.

Thanks for signing my guest book.