There's been much research about the importance of an enriched environment and how it affects the brain. I first learned about it from the very brilliant Eric Jensen, when I was doing my Brain-based Learning certification. You want to provide security with routine, what he calls ritual, and also introduce new things; novelty. Temple Grandin says that pigs will choose old phone books when they're first introduced over toys that they have already played with, because they're new and different. The same principle applies to people, of course. That's why it's exciting for Timmy to go over to Tommy's house and play with toys he doesn't have, even tho Timmy is bored with them.
Years ago, when I first went to the Biology of Belief seminar with the most awesome cell biologist Bruce Lipton, I learned the importance of the environment on health and well-being. So I'm very aware of creating an environment that is stress-free and enhances the lives of my dogs. And the cat. I can't forget the cat--because he won't let me. Ha. Anyway, back to environment and enrichment, I got the dogs a new toy.
I put it here for them to discover:
Here's Buddy, not noticing it.
"Right there, blood hound." I was watching Reggie thru the window, sure that he would take it. But he's a bit more cautious . . .
So then I moved it . . .
"Right behind you, blood hound."
Bingo in her spot. She's not into toys or chewing--unless it's something to eat!
|Zzzzz . . . .|
|Zzzzz . . .|
So then I moved it again . . .
Distracted by the neighbors.
I call him in before the Bark Fest begins. Good boy, Buddy! Thanks for coming when I call you!
Aaaand under the deck he goes! So much for coming when called.
On the dog bed means "mine."
Buddy likes to carry around the squirrel and make it squeak. Reggie got a hold of it and was tearing out its tail. Same toy, different strategies. I'm sure if Snuffy The Black-Nosed Beagle had it, it would be toast. You heard me. TOAST.