It started a few weeks ago, when I decided it would be nice if she could bring me the dogs' leashes so I didn't have to look for them or bend over to pick them up.
"Trudy. Bring me your leashes." She perked her ears up, and trotted purposefully out of the kitchen, as I smiled at the prospect of never again having to search for or bend over to pick up their leashes. A minute or two later, despite previous success at leash retrieval, she returned empty-mouthed, unable to find them (I think they were in the car). She looked everywhere. Then she went into Brian's studio and sniffed a short piece of black webbing but left it, knowing it wasn't a leash. A few minutes later, exasperated by the lack of leashes and desperate to go for a walk, she went back to the 12 inch strap and decided to bring it anyway. "Mom, will this do?"
A second case came when I took Trudy and Otis to the dog park. It was a typical blustery day, and I didn't want to have to get out and dig around in the car for the chuck-it with her ball in it. I knew it was somewhere in the back with her, so I just asked her to bring me her ball. It took a few tries, since the plastic launching device was previously a doggy no-no, but she eventually overcame her learned inhibition and brought it to my perfectly warm and dry hand in the front seat. I'm starting to like this, I thought.
Finally, last night I was exhausted. Dinner was ready, but Brian was downstairs in our bedroom. I had been up and down stairs all day at work and at home and didn't feel like yelling. So, I thought to myself, "I wish Trudy could go tell Brian that it's time to eat." Then I had an idea. And it worked perfectly!
Not only did it get my message across, but when she brought the sign to Brian he thought it was so funny he came up right away, laughing hysterically :)