My brother George has wanted a dog since he could pronounce the word. He has a thing for animals -- he sometimes gives to the WWF, at people's houses he generally befriends the animals of the house to the exclusion of other humans.
George is also somewhat of a "night owl." He enjoys his late-night kitchen runs, during which he gathers a supply of pop-tarts and/or toaster strudel. For those unfamiliar with the idea of "toaster strudel," it's this thing made by Pillsbury and you freeze them and then you put them in your toaster and they're like little rectangular pastries with wonderful strawberry (or other) syrup-stuff inside. He also adores hanging out with nilla during these excursions. Usually at night, we put her in this room to keep her safe (so I hear).
George also admits to letting nilla out of that room at night so that she can roam about the house. However, before he breaks down her barrier to wherever she wants, he will feed her any food that she might like. I know this, because I also enjoy a late night calorie rush, and I've seen him a few times. But only briefly, because he's a furtive fellow when he does not wish to be disturbed.
Just now, I was on an expedition for food, and I decided I wanted some toaster strudel. I drop 'em in the toaster, and turn that badboy up to 4, because that's the level those cook well at (in my opinion). I was watching those beauties just cook when I hear nilla get up in the other room, where she usually stays for the night. She got up from her "bed," and she came right where I could see her through the gate. She looked at me right in the eyes, cocking her head slightly to the left. We stayed like that -- staring at each other -- for a solid second or two. She broke my gaze, momentarily looking down at the gate, then back up to me. She looked down at the barrier that separated us for the second time, and then back up to me again. I was stunned, because I'd never see her do anything like this before, and I couldn't figure out why she was doing it. Her head kept pivoting down, up, down, up; and then it felt as though she looked up as if she were making sure I understood what she wanted. She was so used smelling the toaster strudel, and then having george feed and release her. As Pavlov demonstrated, nilla has a pretty strong association with smelling toaster strudel and good times ahead.
Of course, nilla, I'll open it for you.