Memory Day

Howdy doody blogaroos! Yup. It’s me – Squirmy. The best bad dog in our household. And it’s an honor I’m proud to wear!

So today is January 19th and it’s something called Good Memory Day. They don’t really describe if this day refers to good previous events – or actual “memory.” So we’ll just take it as that. If so, I think it should be called PON Day – because we are known for our good memories. We are elephants in shaggy bodies. Small shaggy bodies. Without trunks.

I have a brilliant memory when it comes to remembering where animal poop is on our walks. I go back to the same spot every day to see if I can grab a sample.

It’s interesting – some sites on Mr Googly say that we dogs have an average short term memory of 27 seconds. Some say we can remember things up to two minutes. This article is good in summarizing different types of memory:

https://www.thelabradorsite.com/do-dogs-have-memories/

After reading a couple of articles about our short term memory, My Enforcer decided to carry out her own experiment to test us. We of course had to do the test one at a time because it would have been a gong show to try it with all three of us. The Boss went first, while the Coyote and I were sequestered in the front hall. First she showed the Boss a yummy treat. Then she had him watch while she placed it somewhere in the dining room. Like on a chair, next to a table leg, etc. He got to see where the treat was placed and then he had to go and wait in another room for 30 seconds. He was then told to “get it”. After 30 seconds he went right to the spot. He did it in two different spots. Then she increased the time to one minute. She also did this twice and he immediately went to the treat locations. So he did double the average time.

Here he is finding the treat on a chair:

Then it was time for yours truly. After 30 seconds I went right to the chair:

I did it again after 30 seconds. When the time was increased to a minute, I found it, but didn’t go right to the food. My sweet spot for fast finds was about 45 seconds. I blame it on my puppy brain.

Then it was the Coyote’s turn. Here’s the speedy guy after 30 seconds:

When the time increased to one minute, he was equally underwhelmed. He eventually found the treat, but it wasn’t direct. When My Enforcer went back to 45 seconds for him, he stopped to have a drink of water, which took about a minute , so he forgot the whole game. Or at least he didn’t want to play the game. Meanwhile, the Boss and I were watching from the hallway through the French door – screaming at him where to find the treat. It was a noisy game.

Anyway, here’s an interesting article about episodic memory in us dogs:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/11/23/503072612/your-dog-remembers-every-move-you-make

We didn’t test this “do as I do” type of memory. Probably because we were all exhausted after either participating in the short term memory test – or watching it. If the “do as I do” action involves something like opening a treat jar, I’m sure we’ll do great. But tapping an umbrella? I’m not so sure…

So there you have some canine memory tidbits for Memory Day! Now excuse me while I go and double check that there were no tiny pieces of treat left behind after our experiments yesterday. And then I’m off to find animal poop. Trust me – I know where it is…

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

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