According to the Internet, the dog is trying to save the fish from a terrible fate. Such a heroic effort. The dog must understand that:
- Fish need water to live
- This fish is dying
- Fishie deserves to live!
- I can save the fishie with this water!
Does this sound reasonable? What does your dog usually do when confronted with a small creature? Offer it a helping paw, maybe? Contribute to its Kickstarter? Or chase it up the nearest tree, barking like a maniac? Yeah…nope.
Rather than showing Dalai Lamaesque levels of compassion, this dog is performing a natural behavior called caching. Fish are tasty, albeit pungent morsels and this has caused the dog to go into a pre-programmed pattern of scooping and tamping, despite there being nothing to actually cover the fish with.
The dog is trying to bury the fish with the water, and it’s probably very confused about why fishie is still right there where anyone can see. “Aren’t I doing a good job of burying fishie? I’m doing the thing with my nose and everything!”
Not too smart, really. But very cute.