We can learn a lot from our animals. We can't, however, always make those lessons available to our kids.

My daughter relayed the latest in "sneaky Pete" to me this week, and I wish I could have been there to see it in real time.

Deliberate, sly thievery.

She happened to look up at the dog the other day, and the dog was walking funny. She was not putting her paws down normally, and Amy thought maybe she was hurting for some reason. So, she decided to keep an eye on her in case there was a problem.

Soon the dog came near, again with that weird gait. Paws cocked up, a kind of slinky movement. Thinking she'd gotten away with it to that point, she made directly for the cat food - which she knew was off limits.

Then Amy realized that there had been no sound of clicking toenails on the porch floor. The dog has figured out that if she keeps her nails from touching the floor, making no sound, she just might get to have an extra snack of "forbidden fruit" before being noticed! So she has adopted this way of walking on her pads with toes pointing up when she wants to have a dessert of cat food! Amy had thought the cat food was going faster than usual, but had always heard her heading for the cat's bowl and been able to move it out of reach.

This has to have been one strange sight. And I thought it was our kids who usually came up with clever ideas to get what they wanted!

I think this goes to show that our animals often have a lot more smarts than we give them credit for.

Ladies Christian Fellowship will meet Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the Trinity Center of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Speaker and music are not certain yet, but there will be a speaker and special music for the meeting.

The group's mission project this year is Redwood Teen Challenge in Eureka, and there will be a report from them.

All women are invited to attend. The group is nondenominational, and while you do not have to be a church member, most of our local churches are represented in the group. It's a good way for our various churches to keep up with each other, the women connecting with old friends, and perhaps making new ones.

Lunch is catered by Northwoods for $10 per person, and reservations are needed to order sufficient food for all who attend.

For reservations or further information, call Liz at 464-3539.

To contact Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or email