Oscar vs. Buster

Can a pug outwit a vacuuming robot?

I think that Oscar, our new pug, might be getting too smart for his own good.

Despite being mildly OCD (lining his toys up in straight lines and barking when pillows are out of place), he does not like Buster, our wonderful Roomba vacuuming robot, as much as I do. He’s perfectly content when we rev up our other vacuum, the noisy upright Dirt Devil, but he’s apparently freaked out by machines that can move on their own. As soon as we switch the Roomba on, Oscar springs to life, strutting and barking and chasing it like a little guard dog.

The other day as I sat checking my e-mail in my home office, I saw Oz sneak into the room. Creeping as stealthily as a panting pug can, he made his way over to Buster, who was plugged into the battery charger on the wall. The dog glanced around a few times to make sure nobody was watching him (though he missed me peeking at him from the corner of my eye), then gently took hold of the plug in his mouth and tugged it free.

Then, as fast as he could, he ran away from the scene of the crime — triumphant in his defeat of the Roomba.

Well played, Oscar. Well played.

Article © 2009 by Molly E. Weeks