“I first noticed the greeting behavior when she was about one and a half years old,” Pearce said. “She would get very excited and grab as many toys as possible. If she is caught by surprise without a toy, you can almost see her mental calculations about whether to go greet first and then get a toy or go get the toy first,” Pearce added. “She tends to make a few false starts towards the visitor and then toy wins out.”
When handed a toy by a dog, most would grab the toy to begin playing. Why bring a toy to every person entering the door? Well, to play of course. At least, that is what most people assume. Pearce revealed that Atlas brings the toy over, and if somebody tries to grab it, she will turn her head to the side to make sure they know not to take it. The toys are just to look at, not to touch!
“Guests usually think she wants to play and they try and take the toy,” Pearce said. “She is very embarrassed if they do manage to grab it and she will leave them to go get another toy!”
Some of her toys even have a special meaning. Pearce said if Atlas brings her “Apology Pig,” that means there is a high chance the pup chewed something up.
Recently, the family bought Atlas a brand new red and blue dragon. Now named “Désolé Dragon,” this toy has taken on the same meaning as the pig.
No matter what toy Atlas brings her, Mom is always happy to see her sweet face.
“She’s always able to lift my spirits,” Pearce said. “She seems to break through barriers with just about everyone.”