Woof woof (or wouf wouf to my French friends)! This is chief canine officer Artemis, and while I have been the brains and beauty behind this entire operation for over a year, this is the first-ever story I’ve ever contributed. Mom’s the writer in the family—I’m the muse. But today, since school is back in session, I wanted to share one of my favorite experiences: My day at Hunter College’s Thinking Dog Center in New York City. Earlier this year, before Mom stopped having playdates of her own and started exclusively spending time with me, we took the subway to this fantastic place designed just to study dogs and how we think.
You see, we dogs are geniuses. And I’m an entrepreneur, activist, influencer, model—and as of today, writer. So, it makes sense that the Thinking Dog Center wanted to study me. The place is run by a human genius named Sarah-Elizabeth Byosiere, who has a PhD in psychology and belly rubs.
The Thinking Dog Center runs a variety of experiments in which geniuses like me can partake. For those of us who prefer one-on-one attention, don’t worry at all! Only one dog is allowed at a time, so we never have to quibble over belly rubs. Due to COVID-19, they are no longer scheduling appointments for dogs. But if you enjoy reading about my contribution to scientific knowledge and you’re located around New York City, you can sign up to get first dibs on the invite list when the Center opens. I’ll see you there!
Let me walk you through an appointment at the Thinking Dog Center. No leash necessary!
When you first arrive at their massive warehouse building, you are greeted with many belly rubs. This is Amanda, the graduate student and master belly rubber who worked with me. It is very important to assess the humans on how well they rub your belly. After all, they’re seeking your approval.
Then, Sarah-Elizabeth puts you on a super short leash, which seems awfully inconvenient for walks? I mean, my mom is protective, but I hope she’s not that protective!
I spend more time gazing into the beautiful eyes of Amanda, who I’ve decided is my new best friend. They are about to set up the experiment for me, so I can show them how intelligent I really am.
Before we begin, I beg Sarah-Elizabeth for more belly rubs. It is so important that I know that the entire team is behind me before I embark on my important mission to improve life for canines.
The experiment begins! The humans put one of my favorite treats inside this clear box, as if they thought it would stop me. The first time we did this, I was able to push the box easily. My treat was delicious. Hard work should always be rewarded!
The second time, they put another treat inside the box. But no matter how hard I pushed, I couldn’t get the treat.
I started barking at Amanda. Amanda, help me! Why are you just sitting there?! You see, the humans were testing me on how easily I gave up. But a real genius knows that when you have humans around, all you have to do is show them your puppy eyes.
Finally, the humans take the box off themselves and give me the treat. How silly of them! If they knew how to give me the treat all along, why did they wait? Humans love to waste time.
Check out my fellow geniuses! Together, we are the world’s cutest think tank.
To certify that I am a genius, Amanda wrote me a Certificate of Paw-ticipation. I told Mom to frame it!
Sarah-Elizabeth tied a bandana around my neck, so now everyone knows that I’m a certified genius!
This is the best part: At the end of the experiment, Amanda rewarded me with a new toy of my choosing. I took the raccoon home! I can’t wait to see everyone at the Thinking Dog Center again. I’m on my way to earning my PhDog.
Photography by Tayler Smith