14 years ago I took my doggie to obedience training. I learned to get her to Sit! Down! and Heel! on command (in English). Being a small dog, she was not especially menacing in appearance, but she did have the healthy aggressive tendencies that contributed to her survival for several months as a foundling. Over the years we have had an ongoing negotiation over whether I am her Alpha or not, thanks to my own ambivalence on the subject. For example, I enjoy the illusion that she thinks I am a big and rather stupid dog who needs to be taught how to bury bones and treats. Whenever I give her a dog biscuit, which has become more frequent now that she is encased in her lampshade (two more days!), she leads me over to her "bed" - in reality an old blanket on top of an old pillow, under the piano - and drops the biscuit there. She then proceeds to looks imploringly at me and at the biscuit lying on the blanket. If I give her the biscuit again, she repeats her non-verbal imprecations. Finally, after about 12 years, I tried hiding the biscuit in some folds of the blanket blanket, and she happily proceeding to "dig" it up and eat it. I had the strong feeling that she was demonstrating for my benefit the proper storage and retrieval of treats. I know the Dog Whisperer would disapprove of my enabling behavior, but I don't care; she's my pet, and I believe she has humanoid wisdom, not to mention a vast repertoire of non-verbal communication skills.
One of her ritual behaviors still mystifies me, though, and maybe one of You Out There can explain it. When she first arrived, her only possession was a fuzzy green tennis ball. Whenever we prepared to go out for a walk, she would scramble for her tennis ball and carry it in her mouth until we got outside, and then she would secretively drop it. When I was vigilant, I would pick it up, but often it just disappeared. I don't play tennis, so my supply of tennis balls depended on donations from tennis-playing friends. Over the years, there were "dry" periods when there was no tennis ball in the house, and she learned to substitute a small chew bone. Sometimes she even drops it on the doormat. I've come to think of it as her Mezuzah ritual, but don't know why she does it. Do you?