Homework: Amazing Animals Listeners share their stories of unexpected displays of animal brilliance. For next week's show, we want to hear your stories — and see your pictures — of celebrity encounters. Call the homework hotline at 202-408-5183 or e-mail homework@npr.org.
NPR logo

Homework: Amazing Animals

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97071786/97071764" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Homework: Amazing Animals

Homework: Amazing Animals

Homework: Amazing Animals

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97071786/97071764" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Listeners share their stories of unexpected displays of animal brilliance. For next week's show, we want to hear your stories — and see your pictures — of celebrity encounters. Call the homework hotline at 202-408-5183 or e-mail homework@npr.org.

ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

And now, for some pet stories that may be slightly less prominent but no less adorable. For your homework, I asked you to send us your true stories of animal intelligence. Dogs are known for their keen navigational abilities, and many of you shared stories of lost dogs finding their way back home. Amanda Sowerman (ph) of Cadiz, Kentucky told us about her family's pooches, Henry the hound and Bauser the mutt.

Ms. AMANDA SOWERMAN: I mean, if you saw the two dogs, they don't - they're not the brightest bulbs in the halogen of life, but they're like Cheech and Chong, the dog version of Cheech and Chong, if you can imagine that.

SEABROOK: Henry and Bauser live with the family on a cattle farm. But one day, the two wandered off and didn't come back. A few hours later, Amanda got a call from the farmer who tends her cattle and lives four miles away.

Ms. SOWERMAN: He called me, and he said, you know, in his old Kentucky way, you know, them dogs are over here. And I said, really? How did they get over there? And he said, I'm wondering the same.

SEABROOK: She says she has no idea how they'd figured out to get there since they've never been there before.

Ms. SOWERMAN: And then they started doing this maybe once or twice a week, and the farmer always contended that the only reason they did it was to get the truck ride home in the morning.

SEABROOK: Rosemary Lombard(ph) of Hillsborough, Oregon says her turtles are trusty guides.

Ms. ROSEMARY LOMBARD: If you let a turtle who's in your hand go the way he wants to go by the way he's struggling and moving his arms and legs and head, you can learn really what's in his mind in terms of interest.

SEABROOK: She uses this method to help her turtles draw pictures, holding them up to a piece of paper and then drawing a line where they point with their head.

Ms. LOMBARD: I'm always surprised because I rarely know what it's going to be until quite near the end.

SEABROOK: And after a hard day's work drawing, her turtles like to blow off steam by taking a ride on her Rumba robot vacuum cleaner.

(Soundbite of vacuum cleaner)

SEABROOK: Thanks to everyone who shared their animal antics with us. Next week, celebrity encounters. Share an elevator with Tom Hanks? See Julia Roberts in the cat food aisle? Maybe bump into Carl Castle at the laundromat? Send us your great story of a brush with fame and send the pictures, too. Call the Homework Hotline at 202-408-5183, or shoot us an email at homework@npr.org.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.