I don’t suppose for one moment that Ray’s use of his tongue is any different from other dogs however, given its size, it would be much more noticeable than on smaller dogs.
Ray has always been an interesting and educational “subject” to watch, and one of the first things that struck me about him is how he uses his tongue as an “advance party” into the unknown. When he comes across an item of interest (e.g. pee stain), he will very carefully touch it with his tongue which I am assuming is the first step in his analysing process. He quickly moves on so presumably he worked out what it was and that it was of no further interest. I understand that with his tongue, his nose and fraction of a second in time, he would have built up an accurate profile of the dog responsible. Amazing!
During the winter, he would often stop at a piece of ice and go through the same routine no doubt trying to satisfy his mind as to what was on the ice, or more likely, who had been on the ice. Then of course there is his more recent desire to wash our hands extremely thoroughly every day after dinner* (followed by a soap and water wash!).
Ray is also very sneaky with his tongue. He knew that he was not allowed to help himself from our dinner plates and so tended to sit and watch us eat hoping that we would weaken and give him a treat. We found out the hard way that while he would be patiently sitting near us, his tongue could in fact reach our plate which he used to his advantage twice when we weren’t watching him!
The first time was when a piece of bread mysteriously disappeared from my plate (he loves bread **). I just happened to look down and one piece of bread was noticeable by its absence! I immediately looked at Ray, who immediately made eye contact with me. If he had a previous life, I just know he must have been a poker player because complete innocence abounded! The message he was giving me was in total conflict with any logical deduction short of mysterious vaporization.
The second time I caught him in the act! He had managed to get a long green bean off Carol’s plate and I just saw the end of it very slowly and quietly disappearing into his mouth. We made him sit further away!
Now, with Ray sitting further away, we could relax and enjoy our dinner …. or so we thought! He always seems to have an alternate plan and under these new circumstances, his tongue darted very quickly onto our trays no doubt hoping for some tasty morsel. He even managed to touch the edge of my plate on one occasion. That is quite the tongue that “our boy” has! He now has to either lay down or sit on a chair. His choice!
I’ve mentioned before his surprising (and impressive) dexterity with his feet. His tongue skills are equally impressive! It did not surprise me that, once he had stabilized a yogurt container with his feet, his tongue would do a very thorough job of cleaning the inside. What I had not expected however was his ability to “curl” his tongue such that he could get it inside a container with a narrow neck! His tongue must be around 1-1/2” wide, and the neck of a Kefir container would be around 1” wide, and yet he can get in there and clean it out. I guess I should have realized that if he can clean out the inside of a Kong, he can get into pretty much anything! He is quite remarkable ……….. and always full of surprises.
*Related Post “Hands washed anybody?” – April 19, 2015
** Related Post “Devious Dog” – Dec 2, 2014