Dogs are some of the most intelligent animals out there. They can find missing people, tug sleds, and guide the blind, just to name a few of the complicated tasks they’re capable of performing.
But one dog, a spunky Border Collie named Chaser, was regarded as the “world’s smartest dog.”
She didn’t earn that title for no reason. Rather, Chaser’s intelligence was toted around the world because she knew over 1,000 words, which is remarkable for a dog.
In 2004, psychology professor Dr. John Pilley received a little Border Collie puppy from his wife as a gift. That puppy was Chaser, and Dr. Pilley, who had recently become interested in studying animal intelligence, wanted to see how smart his new pup was.
Dr. Pilley worked for hours with Chaser attempting to teach her the names of different plush toys. Once he thought she knew a toy’s name, he’d hide it and tell her to find it, and she would pick it out, even if it was mixed in with other toys.
Soon, Chaser’s vocabulary expanded, and she was eventually able to identify over 1,000 individual toys.
Posted by Chaser the Border Collie on Thursday, August 9, 2018
Chaser’s immense intelligence earned worldwide attention, and made her famous. She and Dr. Pilley even got the chance to appear alongside famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on an episode of PBS’ Nova.
The smart pup remained by her owner’s side through his final days on this Earth. Dr. Pilley passed away last year at the age of 89, leaving Chaser in the care of his family in South Carolina.
It was Dr. Pilley’s family who broke the sad news on Friday (July 26) that Chaser passed away a few days prior, on Tuesday (July 23). She was 15 years old.
“Chaser got her wings, joining John Pilley for their next adventure,” read the post the “Pilley women” made to Chaser’s official Facebook page.
We are beyond sad to report that on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in the Pilley family home, Chaser got her wings, joining…
Posted by Chaser the Border Collie on Friday, July 26, 2019
Chaser was surrounded by the Pilleys when she passed away.
The women shared that Chaser was buried with the other family dogs on the property, and that some of Dr. Pilley’s ashes were sprinkled in her grave.
Even though Chaser is no longer with us, the women wrote that “her story is far from over.” We have to agree, because we know the millions of people who loved Chaser will help keep her legacy alive.
May Chaser rest in peace.