Have you ever had to spell something to make sure a child doesn’t know what you’re talking about? The family might be watching something on TV and you say to your husband, “Better switch the station because this next show has a lot of S-E-X in it.”

I used to do a ton of that when my kids were little. It was like some kind of Morse code. “Don’t get the i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m out before the kids go to bed or they’ll have to brush their teeth again. And by the way, I’m too tired for s-e-x so don’t wake me up.”

This is a very common practice with most families who have kids who haven’t gone to school yet, and for some parents with kids in high school. Some students managed to get passed along because they were troublemakers and the teacher didn’t want to risk another year with them. Believe me, I know this must have happened because I volunteer tutor and I’m pretty amazed at what I see. But I’m sure I’ve harped on this in a prior blog so I’m not going to waste people’s time going on a rant.

Yes we have s-p-e-l-l-e-d things out for our small children, but have you ever spelled words out for your dog? Around my house we can’t say certain words around our Yorkie Poo because she’ll whimper us to death if she thinks we’re contemplating giving her something. I’m talking about b-u-t-t-e-r. (She’s in my lap right now and can see the computer). This dog lusts for butter around the clock. We leave ours out in a cupboard because this is one b-u-t-t-e-r loving family and we like it soft. We go through a stick every day or two, so it doesn’t have time to spoil. If someone leaves the plate of b-u-t-t-e-r on the counter rather than putting it in the cupboard, the dog whimpers all pitiful-like until someone gets up off the comfortable couch and gives her a chunk. B-u-t-t-e-r to her is like chocolate to us, I suppose.

What I usually do is slice a little off and sling it right on the tile floor. This may seem disgusting but it does not really even hit the floor before she’s on it and looking back up at you to see when the next chunk gets fired off. I have hit the dog right between the eyes by mistake, which is a tragedy for both of us – her because she can’t reach it and me because I’ve got a b-u-t-t-e-r-y mess to contend with.

I thought I was the only one who spelled around my dog until today. I was walking with my friend and her dog ran past another dog, stopped, did a double take and ran back to check out the dog in that fashion that all dogs have. Laurie says, “Oh Pepper, are you checking out his b-u-t-t?”

“Laurie, you don’t have to spell butt, it’s not a cuss word.”

“Yeah, I guess so, but I always have to spell stuff around him or he goes nuts.”

So in conclusion, and I don’t want to make sweeping generalizations here and am only basing this on observations I have personally made, it appears that some dogs are smarter than some high school students.

I know for a fact that dogs are certainly easier to train.