Idaho State Registered Grooming School
Full Service Salon For Your Pampered Pet
Sandpoint (208) 255-2699
Also Serving Spokane Washington Residents


Are poodles really as smart as people say? 

Montee Chambers pictured above with Les and Dan at Perfection Tire in Ponderay Idaho.


This is a true story. Many thanks to the guys at Perfection Tire for the constant supply of dog cookies, great service, and even greater dog common sense in a time of crisis.


Montee is our 100 pound, 9 year old standard poodle.

He has never run away or left our yard  (which is not fenced) in the nine years that he has lived with us.  He enjoys bird watching, swimming and eating McDonalds hamburgers as his favorite pastimes. One can often find him lounging in the back of the car, his head and front legs perched neatly under the open hatchback, which is parked outside of the Pooch Parlor on most weekdays. He has been helpful over the years to socialize and welcome dogs and humans of all sizes and ages.


Montee has extremely specific ideas about what is and is NOT appropriate for social behavior in people and in dogs.  One busy day this summer, Montee was feeling a bit overcome by the activity of the Pooch Parlor, and as is his custom, he put himself into the bathroom for some privacy and quiet.  On this particular day, Millie, a longtime customer, and a sweet Bichon Frise, followed Montee into the bathroom before he could shut the door behind him (as was customary).  Although Millie had the best of intentions in sharing the bathroom with Montee, he was flabbergasted at her rude bathroom manners.  There was a loud disagreement between the two of them, followed by concerned staff that ran to open the bathroom door.  Montee emerged with worried annoyance.  Millie emerged confused and shaken.


Ally grabbed Montee’s collar and brusquely led him out the front door, chastising him all the while for unnecessary and unacceptable social dog behavior.


 “Bully behavior is not tolerated by anyone here, any time and you should be completely ashamed of yourself, Montee!” she rebuked him repeatedly. “Now you stay outside and think about how mean you were to poor Millie!”


I went to check on Miss Millie and make sure she was unhurt. Thirty minutes went by and then Ally came to me and said, “Montee left!  He’s not anywhere to be found!  I told him to get lost and he did!” I didn’t believe her.  In all the 9 years that Montee had been my dog, he never one time had left me, for any reason, in any environment.  I went outside to call my dog back.  I called and called, and Ally was right! 


I looked frantically in the woods, around the building; I asked the business owners if they had seen Montee, I looked suspiciously in the cars that were parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  Did someone steal my precious poodle?  What would I tell my husband?  A long strand of worried thoughts marched through my head.  Where oh where could Monty be?  I couldn’t believe it, he was really gone!!!


And then it came to me!  If I were a supremely intelligent and sulking standard poodle with tendencies towards self-righteousness, where would I be?  I would want to be in the back of my car where I was sure to find solace and privacy!  And where was my car?  It was at Perfection Tire, about a half a mile away on the highway, where Monty and I had left it this morning and walked to work!!  It would be completely out of character for Monte to take the walk through the Wal-Mart parking lot alone and end his journey on Highway 95 where my car was, but it was worth checking on.


I quickly called over to Perfection Tire and worriedly asked Heath, “Heath, I lost my poodle, Montee, Did he happen to show up over there?  He got in big trouble and I am hoping he went looking for my car.”  Heath laughed and replied, “Yes, he’s here all right.  He’s been patiently waiting in the waiting room with the rest of our customers while we finished up the oil change on your car.   Since he hasn’t whipped out a credit card yet to pay the bill, we figured he wanted in your car, and that’s where he is right this minute.”


I just laughed in amazement.  “I’ll send Ally over to get him,” I said, “and I guess I’ll have to pay my bill myself a little later!”  Poodles really are as smart as people say, I thought to myself.



Copyright 2013 DuAnn Chambers.