Anyway, back to the boring aspect of the day... I try to include some interesting activity for her each day, because, as I've said before, I believe it's a case of 'use it or lose it' in terms of developing her brain power. On Boing Boing I read two of the "10 Habits of Highly Successful Brains "by Alvaro Fernandez, co-founder of cognitive fitness firm SharpBrains.
Number One is: Learn what is the "It" in "Use It or Lose It". A basic understanding will serve you well to appreciate your brain's beauty as a living and constantly-developing dense forest with billions of neurons and synapses.I'll have to think what the 'It' is that I don't want to lose, and then consider what 'It' would be for Penny. Perhaps mental flexibility?
Number five is: Thrive on Learning and Mental Challenges. The point of having a brain is precisely to learn and to adapt to challenging new environments. Once new neurons appear in your brain, where they stay in your brain and how long they survive depends on how you use them. "Use It or Lose It" does not mean "do crossword puzzle number 1,234,567". It means, "challenge your brain often with fundamentally new activities."It's lucky for Penny that she lives in an environment where there are so many interesting and challenging activities available to her. I'm thinking doggy dancing, agility, tricks, and, best of all from her point of view, a walk up the main street where the outdoor diners drop so many fascinating food scraps. It's a wonderful challenge for her to snaffle as much as possible without the accompanying humans noticing what she's up to.
I went over to SharpBrains to have a look around. The points are great for us humans to keep in mind, but I think number seven would also apply to our dogs:
Explore, travel. Adapting to new locations forces you to pay more attention to your environment. Make new decisions, use your brainNow I've got a justification for going to interesting places with Penny.