Jana and the Orbee Treat Ball

The day Jana defeated her Orbee treat ball, she proved to me, once and for all, that in raising her I broke my rule (the one that says you should never have a dog who is smarter than you are).

Orbee material, made by Planet Dog, is practically indestructible. The Orbee ball is hollow and has a hole about the size of a nickel. The ball is squishable. In my ceaseless quest to find ways to entertain and challenge Jana — who will do anything for food — I figured out that if I forced a large, hard dog biscuit through the hole in her Orbee ball, I could keep Jana entertained for up to an hour. Since she can empty even the most intricately, complex, frozen solid filled Kong in a few minutes, this was a very valuable discovery indeed.

What Jana did was lie on her back, put the ball in her mouth, and chomp hard enough on it to squash it and break the biscuit into small pieces, small enough that they’d come out the hole. That was pretty clever, but what she did next really amazed me: She lay on her back with the ball between her front paws. She squashed away. Then, I noticed her holding the ball out in front of her face and peering at it. She’d then turn it around with her paws, and look again. I realized she was looking for the hole. When she saw it, she turned the ball so the hole was right over her mouth, opened her mouth, and dumped the cookie pieces in. (Check out the video on my Facebook page.)

Then she nonchalantly kept chomping, squashing, and snacking, as if forcing me to re-think everything I knew about dog intelligence as compared with human intelligence was no big deal. This happened  a few years ago, and Jana still loves her Orbee. And anything else connected with food.

Now, Planet Dog is having a contest called “I love my Orbee.” Jana is a finalist. Soon, all of Jana’s friends (that’s YOU guys) can vote for her. You have to be on Facebook, I think. Details will come soon. If you are on Facebook, visit Planet Dog’s page.

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