Mani languidly protecting 5 toys. The symmetric configuration is entirely his.

Mani guards 5 toys. The sym­met­ric con­fig­u­ra­tion is entirely his. Fifth is a plush tug toy par­al­lel to the Nylabone behind his head. Black mass in upper left is Hopper.

I am not mak­ing this up. Nor did I touch the dog or his pos­ses­sions. He did this.

Our 4-year Tibetan ter­rier Mani, whom we’ve had three years, loves Hop­per, the stray young adult TT we adopted last Thanks­giv­ing week. Insep­a­ra­ble. They can quar­rel over toys, though.

Mani is the alpha although Hop­per has 10 pounds on him (25 com­pared to 35). Mani keeps toys even when not play­ing with them. Hop­per always lets him win. (They respect one another’s food, too).  Once we coa­lesced into the larger pack, within a month, all that turned old news by now.

What is extra­or­di­nary is how Mani arranged the booty last night while the humans watched Stewart-Colbert. Geo­met­ric. Three Nylabones at his paws, a fourth behind his head and par­al­lel to his body and lying on part of a plush tug toy, par­al­lel to the fourth bone.

We were told early on that Tibetan ter­ri­ers tend to be tidy. This wasn’t, how­ever, any­thing we’d noticed before. We like the breed for its medium size and mod­er­ate energy and rel­a­tively hypoal­ler­genic coat. Oth­er­wise both boys tend to leave things where they dropped them, like their people.

Two frames from 2001: A Space Odyssey showing a flying bone and a satellite in spaceMani could have an artis­tic sense of symmetry.

My third thought last night was the dog has devel­oped Obsessive-Compulsive Dis­or­der, an oth­er­wise human psy­chosis. OCD TT.

My sec­ond thought when I looked down from the sofa was Mani has seen the mono­lith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. You know the scene, early in the movie, the apes receive an evo­lu­tion­ary (or counter-evolutionary) leap in wis­dom, dis­cov­er­ing tools, (for hunt­ing, for food, for weapons). Our TT Mani, we bet­ter watch him, make sure those dew claws don’t develop into oppos­able thumbs!

My first thought? Grab the camera.

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