My family went on vacation a few days ago. They piled their bags in the hallway for me to inspect and then, after I gave the OK, loaded them in the car. Finally, they gave me a hug, drove off, and left me in charge of the ranch!
Given the early morning hustle and bustle, my first order of business was to nap on the sofa. That’s where Liz found me. Liz likes to sleepover when my family isn’t home. Liz and I enjoy the same things: eating, sleeping, watching TV together, and going on long walks. She sometimes invites her grandkids too. They’re cute.
We’re having a nice visit; however, she’s out right now and since Ruth still hasn’t come home, I realized that one of my responsibilities was to post this week’s blog. You would’ve thought Ruth would’ve mentioned this to me before she left. But oh no, I have to figure everything out myself. She’s lucky to have me.
So, for all you dogs following the blog, I’ve decided to share a few of my hard-won tips.
Tips about training: Despite your family’s belief that it’s a good idea to train you, let me tell you that you have more power than you think. You can train them to perform all kinds of useful tasks. Just know what you want and be consistent.
One example: I like meat. That’s what I want: my family to give me meat. There are a number of ways I achieve this goal. Most Friday’s my grandparents come over for dinner. Grandmom can be counted on to bring the entree–usually meat. When Pop Pop is carving, I take my position on the floor at his feet. This is not a time to lie down and relax. It’s important to stay alert, eyes on the prize, and be present. Family members may try to entice me away with offers of petting or walks. I keep my focus and Pop Pop invariably comes through, sharing pieces of meat with me. Success.
Another way to get meat is to refuse anything else when my family is making a special request. For example, if they ask me to refrain from attacking the mail carrier or strange dogs we encounter on our walks, I demand a treat as payment for my willingness to comply. They used to offer processed dog treats, cheese, or peanut butter. While any of these are fine as a casual treat, if meat is what I want, I hold out. Eventually, they always come through.
My final words to you today are to reassure you that if you have an unusual request, something that you have not yet trained your family to perform, just bark, whimper, whine, and stare at them. Eventually they will figure it out. They always do. After all, they are family and they love you.