Since you were here last, so much has happened but by far one of the biggest events was this:
This is Nitro. And this is when life gets very interesting indeed. We brought him home about a month ago now, a little bundle of fluff and podge and he has managed to wend his way into our hearts. He’s a glossy coated, big pawed Labrador puppy and he is just beautiful.
Of course, like new parents everywhere, we’re gaga for our latest addition.
I was out at a business meeting the other day and when I reached into my pocket for a business card I pulled out a dog treat…. it’s been that kind of life-changing event.
My Englishman hasn’t ever experienced a small puppy before and he is learning (as I am remembering) that young dogs are attention seeking, face-licking, toe biting piss-pots. AND, they’re adorable.
Here are the top things I’ve re-learnt from becoming a puppy owner for the third time.
1/ Dogs like the dawn. Is it the sheath of darkness over doggy misdeeds – chewing bromeliads, waxing the garden of grass, peeing in the rose bushes – or the simple Ode to Joy? I don’t know. Nitro doesn’t know, but that doesn’t stop him waking.
2/ Dogs are mood stablizers. No really. They should be used in depressive therapy. Client done the dirty? Apply doggy breath and a lick of the tongue on the apple of your cheek and you’re good.
3/ Dogs have a secret pouch in their stomachs. Truck loads of food go in and disappear into the black hole within.
4/ Dogs are feminists and irreligious. Buddist? Female? Anti-disestablishmentarianist? Dogs don’t care. Your toes still reek of toe jam.
5/ Carrots not sticks. Years ago when Bailey was a pup we had this complicated way of training dogs that combined hearty disapproval and cries of BAD DOG and punishments for misdeeds. It didn’t really work, but somehow magically eventually our dog ‘got it’ and we could relax and say we had them ‘trained.’ Of course, there were issues – the mother in law’s crotch was indecently sniffed every time she visited, and taking the dog for a walk was a good way to build your biceps. It wasn’t entirely successful. But these days the focus is on rewarding with treats, and wow, what a difference. Nitro would practically do a head stand for a sliver of chicken treat. It’s made things so much easier and training is fun, with only a few problems.
We trained Nitro to go out to pee with a hearty ‘go wees’ command and then a ‘good boy’ and a chicken treat when he sealed the deal in the shadows of the garden. Problem is, now whenever I say ‘good boy, you left my slipper alone’ he expects a treat.
It’s got me thinking. When Pavlov trained his dog did Pavlov experience issues with his dog over salivating every time the clock chimed?
And then there is that other issue; who’s training who?
I went to offer my Englishman a cracker and cheese the other day and was perplexed when he scoffed at my politeness. I looked down and in my hand wasn’t the plate of crackers I expected to see…. oh, no…. I was holding a chicken treat.
Well, he is a very ‘good boy’.
NB/ Yes. They are my Englishman’s undies in the pic above.