Us humans are well-aware of common courtesy. You know, like bringing a gift to a birthday party, or holding the door open for the stranger behind you, or properly greeting your guests when they arrive at your home.
But who would have thought that dogs would have such a knack for these specific social skills, too?
One dog in particular, Atlas, who is a 6-year-old Lab mix, has a very special way of doing things around her house.
After Kyla Pearce brought her home from The Animal Love Foundation, Atlas has been nothing but sweet. She even has manners unlike any other puppy.
The puppy has developed some very specific manners. She comes off as so sweet that everyone who meets her loves her.
“She’s very calm and docile,” Pearce told The Dodo. “Even people who don’t like dogs tend to like Atlas because she doesn’t pester them.”
When people walk through the door, most dogs will bark or beg them for attention, but not Atlas. Instead, she actively makes sure the guest does not go empty-handed and offers them a toy.
“I first noticed the greeting behavior when she was about one and a half years old… She would get very excited and grab as many toys as possible.”
“If she is caught by surprise without a toy, you can almost see her mental calculations about whether to go greet first and then get a toy or go get the toy first… She tends to make a few false starts towards the visitor and then toy wins out.”
A lot of people will guess that this gesture is an invite to play, but that’s not necessarily the case. It actually might go a little bit deeper than that.
“When she brings you a toy to play, she shoves it into your hand to get you to grab it… But with the greeting behavior she just holds it and if you try to take it she will turn her head to the side. Not to tease you, just a slight shift to let you know that she wants to keep it.”
Pearce also wrote in a Reddit post: “Everyone gets shown a toy. No takes, though. For your viewing pleasure only.”
Every once in a while a guest will manage to wrestle a toy away from Atlas, but it does not upset her in the slightest. Instead, she will just go and grab another toy in attempts of explaining the misconception.
“Guests usually think she wants to play and they try and take the toy. She is very embarrassed if they do manage to grab it and she will leave them to go get another toy!”
Some specific toys have special meanings, too. And some of the meanings aren’t always great.
If the pup brings one stuffed animal over in particular, known as the “Apology Pig,” that will typically mean that she has chewed something up why Peace was away.
Atlas recently received a new toy from her family, and that too took on the same meaning. It’s a blue and red dragon, also called “Désolé Dragon,” and if the dog greets her mom with that toy accompanied by sad eyes, Pearce will have an idea of what to expect.
“She’s always able to lift my spirits. She seems to break through barriers with just about everyone.”
No matter what lies behind those doors for Pearce, she’s always just happy to see Atlas when she comes home. She knows she was blessed with a dog much wiser beyond her years and for that, she is grateful!
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Source: The Dodo