As anyone who knows me can tell you, I've always believed in reincarnation. I think that souls being reborn is the ultimate form of recycling, and when we finally get it right and learn everything our souls need us to learn, we move on to a higher plane and become guides for other souls learning their way through their lives in this world.
Which brings me to Diego. I've said from the moment I brought him home that Diego is on his first run as a dog. He's really smart and curious, but bless his heart, he's also incredibly naive at the same time (if a dog can be called naive - it's not really the word I'm looking for here, but my inner thesaurus fails me at this moment). While many dogs predictably behave in a certain way, Diego always looks at me with a perplexed expression on his face when a new situation arises, like he isn't sure how he should act when presented with a certain set of circumstances.
For example: A few years ago I was papercrafting some small favor-type items to put in my Christmas gifts to coworkers. I dropped a wrapped peppermint Hershey's Kiss on the floor and he picked it up. Because peppermint Kisses contain no chocolate, I let him have it to see what he'd do with it. Miss Chelsea would have picked it up, had the foil wrapper off and would have swallowed it whole in a matter of seconds. Diego instead just lay on the floor with the wrapped Kiss between his paws, looking up at me with an expression that said "What do I do with it now, Mom?" And when I inadvertently left an open bag of peanut M&Ms on the bed earlier this year, he just curled up beside them and went to sleep. He didn't even try to figure out how to get them out of the bag. And no, he isn't that well-behaved.
As anyone who knows me can also tell you, I'm a bit of a klutz. (Ok, a big klutz whose mother always sarcastically said she should have named me Grace.) I dropped half a cinnamon-raisin bagel on the floor this morning, cream cheese side down (of course). Diego immediately snatched it up and carried it off under the bed, and I immediately thought, "I wish I'd worked harder on teaching him the drop-it command." and then "Oh no, that's a RAISIN bagel - how many raisins can a 7-pound dog eat before they cause anemia?" and then "OMG, half a bagel of any sort in his really small stomach is going to make him really, really sick."
So I grabbed my flashlight and looked under the bed. There's my boy with his prize between his paws, cream-cheese side still down, looking at me with the expression that said "Now what do I do?" I picked up the bagel and let him lick the cream cheese off the floor. He deserved it after not eating all those raisins.