Monday, March 23, 2015

Like grandfather, like puppy

When Stephen, Kathy and Becca came to pick me up, my grandfather Rambo was in his crate. While he was alone and uncrated he started to chew on his crate. My breeder James came in and said, "What happened here"? Rambo went into his crate immediatly, since he knows his crate cannot be a chew toy.

Tonight Stephen spread lots of chew toys on the floor and we tried to watch one of his movies. But, I was fixated on the crate chew toy. Stephen gently told me, "that's one", I did it again and he said, "that's two, once more and it is crate time". What does crate time mean? I am sure you know it is not my favorite thing.

Normally Stephen will not talk to me when I am whimpering in my crate, but tonight he said, "Yogi, I would like to read you a story, are you willing to listen?" Stephen had heard the story in a preacher's sermon a long time ago, probably before my great grandfather Imperator was born. It goes something like this:

= = =
A long time ago a farmer wanted to buy a mule from his neighbor.  He asked the neighbor if the mule had any problems.

"Not a problem," the neighbor said.  "This mule will do anything you ask.  All you have to do is ask him nicely."  The neighbor added, "Just make sure you never mistreat my mule."

The price for the mule was fair, so the farmer bought the mule.  The very next day the farmer wanted to plow his field.  He hitched the mule to the plow.  The mule had no intention of pulling that plow!

The farmer said, "Git up!"  But the mule paid no attention.  The farmer tried talking nicely until his face almost turned blue.  It did no good.  So, he called his neighbor over.

The neighbor came right away.  When he heard the problem, he walked over and picked up a two-by-four.  He hit the mule right in the head.  Then he whispered in the mule's ear.  That mulee started plowing back and forth the field, turning the soil over without anyone standing behind the plow.

"I thought you said never to mistreat your mulee," stated the farmer.  "You said all that I had to do was to talk nicely to him."

"Well," answered the neighbor.  "You just have to get his attention first before talking to him."
 = = =

I nodded to Stephen wondering what does this have to do with me? Kathy and Stephen have started pre-training me. My official first puppy kindergarten lesson is next Saturday with Nikki. Some of the dog directives are two part, they start with "ready". That is what is behind the particularly odious single kibble feeding drill. They are trying to tell me my name and introduce me to the "ready" command. Dudes and dudettes, I understood what they meant in the first five minutes. The question of the week is whether I am going to listen. Even though I am especially bred to have a hard head, (Rottweilers were bred to herd cattle and the cows occasionally kicked the dogs in the head), I think I would prefer to avoid a two-by-four smack. I have a lot of chew toys and maybe it would be best to give the crate a bye.

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