Send In The Clown Wolves

A strong sense of humor is one of the personality traits that is common in a healthy Keeshond. Perhaps prankster would best describe the Kees, as it taunts, tricks and traps its audience. It appears to take great reward in messing up the human mind. And many aloof humans do not even realize what is happening until it is too late! And the Kees just loves that…

   A human trying to walk, with the heels of its slippers flipped off in perfect rhythm to the human gait. Flip-Flip-Flip-Flip-Flip. "Hey!" And then the human looks back and down just in time to see a prancing Kees eyeing its targets with stoic intent, and hitting only the heel tip of each slipper with a perfectly placed front paw - left, right, left, right, left.

   A human, lovingly awakened in the morning, only to find that it is short-sheeted (yes, the covers and sheets have really been rolled and tucked); and then later, only after the human frees itself from the cloth trap, it finds itself pinned as it tries to finally roll out of bed.

   A human attempting to do mundane tasks, like trying to give one Kees its medicine or special goody, only to find another Kees in the same favorite location and exact pose of the target Kees, expressing the exact mannerisms and personality characteristics of the target Kees, though the impostor is never anything like that at any other time in life. The impostor is hoping to fool the distracted human into inadvertently giving the item to the wrong Kees.

The Kees also loves tricking multiple subjects, such as another Kees and a human, simultaneously. One of my favorite examples involves trying to simply give a sweet non-dominant male Kees a chewstick in the presence of a dominant, yet smaller, female. The two of them worked up this slapstick routine, all on their own:

   The two sit side by side, and the human sits on the floor in front of them. The human attempts to gently give the chewstick to the male, who shall be called 'Mr. Laurel', with an introduction such as "…well, let's give poor old Mr. Laurel a chewstick." The chewstick is then carefully placed into Mr. Laurel's mouth. Mr. Laurel is leaning up against the wall with a blah look and gives little reaction (knowing what is to happen). Instantly, the chewstick is grabbed by the female, who we shall call Ms. Hardy. The chewstick is then thrown across the room, while Ms. Hardy sits in place. "Well, let's give Mr. Laurel another…" Mr. Laurel remains blah and hopeless as the second chewstick is gently given to him. Again, Ms. Hardy, with lightening speed, grabs the chewstick and throws it across the room, while remaining perfectly in place beside Mr. Laurel. And this goes on and on, until the room is cluttered with chewsticks that neither Kees is able to go chew. Both Kees remain on duty, in their respective positions, waiting for the next chewstick to be given to Mr. Laurel…so that Ms. Hardy can yank it from him and throw it. In the mind of the dominant Kees, it is quite a lot of fun to both frustrate the goal of the human, as well as supervise what the other Kees may or may not have. In fact, the dominant Kees sees this as way to supervise everyone involved. But the hilarious picture that both willingly create is an art.

There are those who would attempt, very poorly, to explain the above as a simple action/reward sequence. The answer to that should be that the sequence of action/reward complexes are as detailed as any that we attribute to humans - that is, so complex that it is hard to find out just exactly what the reward was.