I can’t even remember the last time I “said Grace” before a meal. It must have been before my teens, when my parents realized I was a Godless, hopeless heathen that shoveled food into my mouth so fast I couldn’t even taste it.

Which, I guess, puts my manners one level below four Chinese dogs that dutifully bow and lower their heads as their owner/trainer says a few words of thanks for their meal.

This video of the four dogs in action starts out pedestrian enough, with the dogs displaying the common Pavlovian behavior of lining up in their usual spot for dinner. Things get interesting when the owner/trainer declares, “Okay, everybody! Let’s say a prayer in thanks for this meal,” and the dogs put their paws up and bow their heads as though praying.

One of the pups can’t quite seem to stay still long enough and looks up eagerly towards the food before the prayer is over, but all four display remarkable discipline in the face of delicious (probably bacon-flavored) grub just inches from their faces. When the prayer is over, all four wait patiently for their personal bowl to be placed in front of them before chowing down.


And, as if that weren’t enough, the pooches even clean up after themselves, grabbing their empty food bowls in their jaws and delivering them back to their trainer to be washed. Which means, for the umpteenth time in my life, I have been upstaged by a dog; I just leave my dirty dishes laying around in my room until the neighbors complain about the smell.
[ Read in Japanese ]