Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Human training

As the days get longer, so does my list of chores. I've just put the last of the chickens to bed (the ones that think they're night owls), and I've come inside to have a well-deserved cup of tea, and to finish the book I've been reading about dog training.

The dogs have all eaten their dinners and Pip the early bird heads off to bed - my bed - as she's chewing her last mouthful. I've just got the last four pages to read, and I'm about to settle down in my chair. Then I hear Pip slide off the bed, and her claws click on the wood floor.

She comes back down the stairs and puts her head around the door. She doesn't come those last few steps into the room, as she's an energy conservationist (her own, that is). Her head is moving back and forth, a ripple effect caused by a gently wagging tail as the motion moves up her body. And she stares at me.

Oh yeah. I forgot to put the electric blanket on. Pip won't go to bed if it's not pre-warmed first, by blanket or a human body.

So I get up and go put the blanket on for her. A dog with a perfectly serviceable fur coat. A dog who has just given me a slightly disappointed look because of my careless oversight regarding her comfort.

I hope the last four pages of this book cover what to do when your dog knows you're a sucker.


Poppy Cottage said...

And I thought I pandered to Lily's needs above my own!!!

Ha Ha!!

Was the book helpful?

Casey said...

Sweet! Human training is right, though. I had to a great deal of training myself before I was able to train a decent dog. They always have a quirk or two, eh? Wouldn't be the same without them!

Paula said...

I love the way you can tell a dog is wagging her tail even though you can't see it. My, she does have you trained well.


Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Oh I love that dog! And you for pampering her. THAT is the best part of being owned by dogs.

Pomona said...

How about a dog who closes her jaw round your knee as you run to greet the postman? And then retires to a corner in embarrassment for mistaking you for a burglar and then looks nervously at you all day in case you scream, shout and berate her again. And what about the postman who no doubt wonders about the woman he heard screaming like a fishwife inside, who then trips to the back gate smiling sweetly and telling him that all is fine and dandy? Luckily jeans seem to be toothproof otherwise said woman would probably have been dripping blood as well.

Pomona x

Kate said...

Man, she's got you trained all right. Did the last four pages help? I'm a hardass with my cats. I resist any training attempts they make, unless of course it lines up with my evil plans. It's tough though, that resistance.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

I think Pip needs a blog.
Every dog has its day: Make it today!

Jennifer Montero said...

Colette - Highly recommend the book, now I just need to put the advice into practice. Thankfully there was no rule against having the dog sleep in your bed.

Casey - Quirks are what make them so frustrating and so lovable. I learn something new with each dog I train.

Paula - I'm thinking I should get 'sucker' tattooed on my forehead

DHimC - I DO feel owned by Pip, but thankfully she's a benevolent dictator

Pomona - Is that dog by any chance a collie? We occasionally have the screaming fishwife thing here (with the deaf dog) and I'm sure the neighbors think I must be horrible to my poor dogs. Hope both your knee and humor are recovering.

Kate - I wouldn't know the first thing about training and motivating a cat. As a species they seem to have almost no need for people, except maybe as can openers and litter box cleaners. If you can train one, you have my total and unquestioning respect.

Jennifer Montero said...

Tamar - She'd only figure out how to make me write it for her. And the other dogs don't need any help working me over.

I have made a stupid mistake with Quincy too, rewarding her with food when she carried her bowl to me. It was initially a test of her intelligence, to see if she could associate a behaviour with a reward at the tender age of 10 weeks old.

Not only will she now carry to bowl to me even if I'm out in the yard, she's started carrying the shepherd's BIG bowl to me, like she's saying 'Supersize it'.

Poppy Cottage said...

Jen, seeing that last night I lost the bed to the dog and the cat resulting in getting up at stupid o/clock I might well give that book at try!!

Pomona said...

How did you guess it was a collie? And a very hormonal one at that!

P x

me said...

Awesome! Pip is now officially my favorite.

Kate said...

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I train cats! I just resist their efforts to train me. I've had cats pretty much my entire life, and I do think their behavior can be gently nudged in certain directions, but it literally takes years and years to achieve modest results. And even then, it's basically got to be something they want to do. I think I've just been pretty lucky with the cats I've had.

Jennifer Montero said...

colette - I'll lend you the book

Pomona - That's textbook collie behaviour. They're so reactive to movement. They sometimes act before they can process the situation. It sounds unintentional. She may have been startled or caught up in the excitement. But I'm sure I don't have to tell you and your knee that!

Me - I have a soft spot for that one too.

Kate - Even modest results with cats gets my full respect. Cats have all got together and decided en masse that they dislike me. I ignore or avoid them but they still bite and scratch me.