Saturday, June 15, 2013

New Tricks for a Smart Dog

Ellie has never been properly trained. And, I will take total responsibility for this. Once she was housebroken, I figured I was off the hook. She doesn't bite, doesn't bark (excessively), only begs politely (and stops when I look at her with my "You know better than that" look). I figured she would take my teaching her to roll over, play dead, and shake hands most offensive.

As, for playing ball - that came naturally. Oh, here's a ball - if I throw it, I wonder what she'll do? Talk about not being able to put the Jeannie back in the bottle. At any given moment, I can look down and she may be sitting there with her yellow tennis ball (actually one of a dozen) ready to play- RIGHT then. And, if I don't look down, there will be short yap, telling me I am remiss in doing so. She started that as a wee pup:

And, has yet to grow out of it.

Then yesterday, I was told she needed training, or in a more polite way, "we" needed training. Ellie should be trained sit for everything. She should be able to leave anything alone until given the command otherwise, to come and stay on command. And, then she needs to learn how to lie on a mat and relax for 30 minutes. 

OK, they had me until the last part. I don't think I can talk my terrier into yoga. Explaining finding your inner zen to an animal wired tighter than Dick's hat band (as my Daddy used to say) is beyond me. I can see me explaining this to her with treats and her finally looking at me and saying, "Whatever. Can we play ball now?

I am well aware a Veterinarian Behavioral Specialist with a Phd knows a lot more than I will ever dream to know. And, animals are a VBS's thing. I am sure Dr. Dolittle was on their plane. After all, "Just imagine it, chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee. Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah. What a neat achievement that would be. . . We would converse in polar bear and python, And we could curse in fluent kangaroo." However, no where in that movie do I recall Rex Harrison trying to teach yoga to Norwich.

Dealing with a Push Me-Pull You and sailing inside that Giant Snail was peanuts to trying to explain to a little terrier with a mind of her own, that she needs to lie on a mat for thirty minutes and think of pleasant thoughts. The last time someone told me that, I was in a Lamaze class, and I remember how far that got me. But, I digress.

We'll see how this goes. Or, in other words, we'll see who trains whom. I do have one advantage - I do not care for dog treats. Now, if someone comes out with a box of Dark Chocolate Godiva Truffles - it may be up for grabs. 

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