Yesterday at Panera, as Isaac and I were making our way to the table I'd chosen, Isaac spied a potato chip on the floor. Isaac would never think of taking food off a table in a restaurant, but he eyed that chip hopefully. I told him to leave it and with a last longing glance, he refocused his attention on me.
I was taking off my jacket, juggling jacket and purse and leash, trying to put my stuff on the seat before I sat down myself. And I dropped my purse on the floor. Not too far from that potato chip.
So I told my well-trained service dog to "Get it," meaning, of course, to get the purse. And he knew exactly what I meant. He'd seen me drop the purse. Often, when he sees me drop something, Isaac will pick it up without being asked. Not always, but often. And if he sees me drop something, he knows that is the thing I am going to want him to get for me. Sometimes if there are several objects on the floor, he might be uncertain of which object I am asking for. But not if he sees me drop something.
And Isaac, well-trained service dog that he is, pretended to misunderstand me and acted as if he thought I was telling him to get that potato chip. So he did. Very quickly, before I could stop him. Gobbled it right up.
He did pick up my purse after that, though.