If Pets Had Thumbs

Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.~Orhan Pamuk


Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving and capable of pure love. Virtues that few people get through life without abandoning at least once. ~ M.K. Clinton

There are well and truly a few pets that do have thumbs which we will briefly look at first, then it will be fun to delve into scenarios if your pet dog had opposable thumbs.  But what is an opposable thumb?  Wikipedia quotes primatologists and hand research pioneers John and Prudence Napier who defined opposition as: “A movement by which the pulp surface of the thumb is placed squarely in contact with – or diametrically opposite to – the terminal pads of one or all of the remaining digits.”

Emily Carr 1871-1945, Canadian Artist and writer actually did have a pet with opposable thumbs. “Woo” was a Javanese Monkey who played alongside Carr’s pure bred Blueshire Old English Sheep Dogs. However Emily Carr was not the only pet owner to fall in love with a monkey, Justin Beiber, singer and performer for a short while owned a pet Capuchin Monkey, Mally. However as a rule, most pet owners do not own opossums, Koalas are a protected species, and orangutans, gorillas and other apes are usually only seen in nature or in a zoo, and not as a pet.

So, in exploring these primates, and other animals with opposable thumbs, it is now time to consider what your pet dog do if they had opposable thumbs.

  • They could play fetch with each other! With opposable thumbs your puppy could pick up a stick or ball and be able to move it around, perhaps learning a tossing or throwing motion.
  • They could pick up their meal as does a racoon, and eat it sitting on their haunches.
  • Having opposable thumbs, would mean that the puppies, upon sighting a bird or squirrel in a tree, would be able to climb trees as monkeys and apes can.
  • If your dog had opposable thumbs, they would be able to operate tools, much as a raccoon, can open a garbage can lid, or twist open a door handle easily. A raccoon has five fingers, and no thumb, but has learned how to grip and grasp items between both hands, enabling it to learn many tasks, and wash it food etc.  Your dog, also uses their paws to gain egress around a door or gate, hold their toy kong still, Etc. With opposable thumbs, this task would become much easier for your pet dog.
  • With opposable thumbs, the pack of dogs would be able to pick up sticks and stones and in addition to their teeth, would be better able to protect themselves and their pups.
  • Hanging and swinging could be achieved with opposable thumbs, so your dog, could have a great lark of a time creating all sorts of new activities in trees and along tree tops.  Combined with their usual stalking, leaping and pouncing being able to rise above, could result in some complex maneuvres.
  • At the moment, dogs can only groom themselves, and remove burrs and rose branches from their fur with their teeth or by licking themselves with their tongue or ask their humans to help them. With opposable thumbs, how much easier it would be for each individual dog to relieve the pain of snow, rocks from the soft pads of their paws, or to sit and help the dogs in their pack to remove a burr from their fur.
  • If your puppy had opposable thumbs, they could enter and leave their owners home with the door handle, and pet doors would become history.
  • The supper, steak, or pies left out on table or counter would be much much easier to get to with opposable thumbs, if that pooch had not undergone training yet.
  • Puppies now can pick up their leashes with their mouth to ask their owners for a walk, but with opposable thumbs, this task along with fetching newspapers and slippers becomes a lot easier.
  • If puppies and dogs had opposable thumbs, it would be easier for a dog to communicate that they have the urge to go outside if you lived in a home without a puppy door. Your puppy rather than gently laying their paw upon your hand or arm, the dog could actually hold your hand and urge you up for a walk, or to go outside.
  • With opposable thumbs, many, many more tricks could be taught to the dogs, and by the same token more training would be required, as they would be able to climb up and anywhere in the house or outside.
  • Emily Carr dressed her monkey “Woo” in a bright red dress, and out they went for a walk.  In short order Woo escaped up a tree, and divested herself of the dress on the peak of the same tree, and down Woo clambered.  In like fashion, if your pet dog did not like the booties, hat, sweater or jacket that their pet owner bundled them up in, with opposable thumbs, they could follow Woo’s lead, and removed any fashion accessory.  It wouldn’t take long to determine if your pet dog appreciated the booties to keep the snow out from the pads of their paws, or if your pet pooch felt the -40 Celsius weather, and appreciated their winter jacket, or if their original fur coat does the task of keeping them warm enough, thank you very much.
  • Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.~Orhan Pamuk

    How attuned you are to your dog, would make a large difference if your pet had opposable thumbs. Even without opposable thumbs, dogs learn to dance, twirl, and communicate with their paws with their humans, just imagine the communications and tricks if dogs had opposable thumbs.

    Intelligent dogs rarely want to please people whom they do not respect~ William R. Koehler

Without a doubt, your pet dog could make use of an opposable thumb, and the tricks they could learn would be so darned cute.  So these are just a few whimsical ideas to celebrate, “What if Pets Had Thumbs Day”, March 3″=. Next time you are out at the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, and see the pooches running this way and that, imagine, if you will what these dogs would do if they had opposable thumbs.  What do you think your dog would be able to do?

The purpose of life is not to be happy.
It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate, to have it
make some difference that you
have lived and lived well.
~Leo Rosten

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SW 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance /commemorate your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker presented by Paul Hanley

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale wetlands

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – Saskatoon’s best kept secret.



I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet. Unless we play fair to our neighbour, we cannot exist socially or internationally. Unless we play fair to better self, there is no individuality and no leadership. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.


“Kind people have been expressing superlatives on my work. But I can assure you that anything which I have been able to achieve has been team work. We have a motto in the Men of the Trees. TWAHAMWE. It is an African word meaning ‘pull together’ and I pass this on to all those concerned with conservation in this country. I would like to call you to silence for a moment with the words of Mathew Arnold:

“Calm soul of all things, make it mine,
To feel amidst the City ‘s jar
That there abides a peace of thine
Men did not make and cannot mar. ”
~Richard St. Barbe Baker


“I believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker


For me, “Dog Days” symbolizes apocalyptic euphoria, chaotic freedom, and running really, really fast with your eyes closed.” Florence Welch

Author: stbarbebaker

This website is about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area - an urban regional park of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The hosts are the stewards of the afforestation area. The afforestation area received its name in honour of the great humanitarian, Richard St. Barbe Baker. Richard St. Barbe Baker (9 October 1889 – 9 June 1982) was an English forester, environmental activist and author, who contributed greatly to worldwide reforestation efforts. As a leader, he founded an organization, Men of the Trees, still active today, whose many chapters carry out reforestation internationally. {Wikipedia} Email is StBarbeBaker AT yahoo.com to reach the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

4 thoughts on “If Pets Had Thumbs”

  1. My pet dog tries to steal food off my plate. If he had, he would have probably opened the fridge at midnight and gobble down precious food that I save for the morning 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: