The twelve taped chimes of the clock tower bell,
the twelve short echoes that follow. A silence, then,
through the indrawn shush of the library doors,
two exhausted students, stunned to reenter
the womb-weight of the humid air, linger
for a moment to say goodbye before lugging
their heavy backpacks off in opposite directions.
How many years will this scene go on repeating itself?
How many years before one of them takes
the other’s hand, and the poem is brought to an end?

Sherod Santos, from “The Book of Hours,” The Pilot Star Elegies (W. W. Norton & Co., 1999)

You may not remember what you were doing a few minutes ago. But your dog probably does.

A study of 17 dogs found they could remember and imitate their owners’ actions up to an hour later. The results, published in Current Biology, suggest that dogs can remember and relive an experience much the way people do.

That’s probably not a big surprise to people who own dogs, says Claudia Fugazza, an author of the study and an animal behavior researcher at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. Fugazza owns a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog named Velvet.

“Most dog owners at least suspected that dogs can remember events and past experiences,” she says.

But demonstrating this ability has been tricky.

Your Dog Remembers Every Move You Make

Photo: Mirko Lui/Cell Press
Caption: Comparative psychologist Claudia Fugazza and her dog demonstrate the “Do As I Do” method of exploring canine memory.