Back when we lived in North Carolina, I stood at the kitchen window one day and watched our son and his friend come up the street toward our house from the woods where they'd been playing. Every ten feet or so, they'd stop and look behind them. Turned out, they'd found a tiny little puppy in the woods and were coaxing him along. The kiddo wanted to be able to say, "Look what followed me home," rather than, "Look what I brought home."
When they reached the house, they rang the doorbell and were waiting with hopeful faces when I opened it. "Look what followed me home," the kiddo predictably said. "Can I keep him?"
I hadn't had a dog since before I got married. Bob was in the Navy, and we moved every few years. Rather than go through the hassle of buying and selling homes, we rented, and our rental agreement said in giant letters, No pets!!!! (Okay, the exclamation points are mine, but still ...)
Not wanting to be the bad guy, I said, "Ask your dad." Bob knew the lease terms as well as I did, and I'd much rather have him be the one to wipe that hopefulness out of the kids' eyes.
The kiddo summoned him to the porch, Bob sat down, and the wiggly black puppy climbed into his lap, licking his face all over, and Bob looked up at me. "Can we keep him?"
Duc was a black Lab mix on a bit of a bad hair day. If you scrunched up his face, he looked just like a Chow. He was one smart pupper. While running wild in the back yard one night, he broke a toe on the long back leg of an Adirondack chair. Don't let him climb stairs for a while, the vet said, so we carried him up and down the stairs in our tri-level house. Once the toe was healed and he had the okay to climb on his own, I went into the kitchen without him one day, and he sat at the bottom of the steps, pitifully whimpering and holding up his (formerly) sore foot.
He loved ice cream. Every time we went to Baskin Robbins, we bought a scoop in a cup to take home to him. Another day he sat in the kitchen and watched eagerly as I spooned the last of the ice cream from a carton that had been in the freezer. It was barely a scoop and I wasn't about to share, much to his disappointment. I threw the empty carton into the trash, then went into my office to eat at the computer.
A few minutes later I heard a scraping sound in the kitchen. Figuring he'd gotten into something, I went to the door and found I was right. I'd mopped earlier and left the empty bucket sitting in a corner. Duc had turned the bucket upside down, scooted it across the room to the other corner, where the trash bin with its swinging door stood. He'd climbed onto the bucket, bracing himself with one front paw on the counter and the other on the wall, and stood, halfway in the trash can licking the ice cream dribbles from the carton.
Problem-solving in a one-year-old dog. I always said he was smarter than a lot of people I knew, and I still believe it.