13 August 2005
Bess was my first encounter with a non-human, non-machine intelligence. Mice, goldfish and Eliza can be sweet, but they are not the brightest companions. Bess was different, she was always making connections. For example, when my CRTs clicked, she'd get excited because the video mode switch was the first sign that the computer was shutting down and I'd soon be available to walk her. She was also constantly deducing the meanings of new words and phrases on her own. On the other hand, she never did figure out that when on a leash, she and I could not run on opposite sides of a lamp post. She had the full range of emotions; excitement, fear, happiness, guilt and love. Bess taught me more about Cognitive Science than any of my professors at Carleton University.