For the last five years or so, Colombia’s Diversified Technical Education Institute of Monterrey Casanare has been home to an adorable black dog named Negro. And as the school’s resident, unofficial mascot, Negro keeps watch over things and is cared for by the school’s faculty, who provide him with food, water, and shelter during the night.
But when it comes to treats, the clever pup prefers to pay for them himself with his own currency — leaves.
On campus is a little store where students gather to buy things on their breaks. Sometimes they’d buy Negro treats. That’s how he learned he could “pay” for them on his own.
“He would go to the store and watch the children give money and receive something in exchange,” teacher Angela Garcia Bernal said. “One day, spontaneous, he appeared with a leaf in his mouth, wagging his tail and letting it be known that he wanted a cookie.”
Now it’s become a regular occurrence, much to the students’ and staff’s delight.
“He comes for cookies every day,” Gladys Barreto, a longtime store attendant, told The Dodo. “He always pays with a leaf. It is his daily purchase.”
Of course, the staff has made sure Negro’s treats are safe for dogs to eat. They’ve also limited his purchases to just a couple a day to make sure he isn’t overeating. Still, all can attest that watching Negro’s adorable store trips are the best parts of their days.
“When you first see it, you almost want to cry,” Bernal said. “He’s found a way to make himself understood.”
I’m sure I’d cry if I ever got to witness Negro’s purchases in person. This little guy is way too cute (and smart)!