A couple of weeks ago, Katherine fell asleep with half a banana sitting on a plate on the coffee table. Riley's favorite food in the world is bananas, with chicken a close second. So if ever he had the chance to steal his favorite food, that was it.
To our amazement, the half-banana was still on the plate. He let us know it was there by sitting by it and whining as soon as we got up, but he wouldn't take it himself.
We decided to do an experiment. We left the nuggets there, warning Don not to eat them in the middle of the night and tell us that Riley took them. (He would do something like that.)
The three of us were right. He didn't snatch the food. He didn't forget they were there. As soon as we came downstairs, he went right to the table and started whining.
Here is our theory: Riley does not like to upset things. If his ball rolls behind an object that would tip over if he tried to get it, he won't get his ball. He knows that if he jumped up to get the plate, it would probably tip over and fall. He hates that. So he waits patiently for someone to hand over the goods.