Every day I get another example of how smart Murphy is. This time, it's his association of objects and actions and his desire to communicate with me.
Usually when I'm in the house, I have my shoe off. I like to go barefoot, at least with one foot, the other shoe remaining on my prosthetic foot since it's set up for use with a shoe. But that doesn't keep me from having the other one off, unless I plan to go outside, at which point I put that one on.
Murphy also like to go outside, be it to roar at the neighbor's feral cats, take a nice long walk with me, go for a ride, or just to tend to routine dog business. And he associates me putting me shoe on with a passage beyond the door into the world outside. When I put my shoe on, he gets excited and pesters to be included in the pending adventure by crowding the door or running to grab his leash. (Another one of his association things. Leash = walkies or ride.) Well now he's taken it a bit further. Twice recently, when he's wanted to go outside, he's gone and gotten my shoe and brought it to me in his mouth, dropping it on the floor in front of me as if to say "stop what you're doing, put that on and take me someplace". And frankly, it's so funny and cute that both times he's been rewarded with a short walk outside, validating his ploy.
This dog is a bright one. If he were any smarter I think I'd have to password protect my computer and hide my cell phone and credit cards lest he order things in my absence and lure Mike the UPS man into an ambush.