A Conversation With Arthur 

The neon green frisbee floated effortlessly in a lazy arc across the broad expanse of carefully trimmed lawn. The longhaired and graceful collie jumped high in a carefully planned, intersecting parabola and caught the whirling saucer in her teeth to the squealing delight of several small children who were playing with this magnificent animal.

Idly, I wondered at all of the complex array of mathematical vectors that an aeronautical engineer would have had to plot to perform so casually demonstrated a feat of canine acrobatics. And as always, I speculated on the level of intelligence that must be present in so beautiful and sentient an animal.

The reflections stirred up memories in me of a favorite canine of mine from long ago. His name was “Arthur.” Arthur was a beautiful Irish wolfhound with a magnificent reddish coat and a decidedly regal bearing. He shared several years of his companionship with me before moving on to the land of perpetual milk bones and dog biscuits. My musings of Arthur brought back one incident with him that always comes to mind when I think of him in particular, and canine intelligence in general.

It happened one night, some years ago, just after I had finished having dinner. I was preparing to feed Arthur his nightly meal. As I spooned the mixture of dried dog food and bran into Arthur’s dish, someone appeared to speak to me in a deep-throated and raspy voice. I thought that I clearly heard the words, “you know I would really prefer something with a little more flavor.” 

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