I watched the Dog Whisperer on TV yesterday. Caesar has such command with those unruly dogs. I was seriously impressed. He discussed how important it is to train the family dog. The people are the alphas in the house. I sipped my coffee and agreed. I looked at Miss Mattie and Mr. Murphy, my cockapoos, and in my most authoritative voice said, “Do you hear that? I am in charge.” Murphy ran off and came back with a pen in his mouth. That’s when it dawned on me. Murphy is in charge.
I have been well trained by Murphy. It must have happened very slowly because I didn’t really notice that I was being trained. This is not to say that I am a slow learner. Murphy seems quite happy with my performance. All he has to do is scour the house and find a pen. He then brings it to my feet and crunches it loudly to get my attention. When I attempt to take it away, the fun begins. He snarls, shakes his head, and his jaws of steel do not open to release. After a few minutes of this, I run to the cabinet where I keep the dog treats and he follows. “Drop the pen and get a treat,” I say. Mattie also comes along barking with glee.
It’s as if she’s cheering him on. “You got her again, Murphy! Good job!”
The pen remains in his teeth until he can actually feel the treat on the tip of his nose. At that point, he spits the pen out at my feet. He literally spits it out like a kid who just got medicine. “Pattooey!”
I thought I had developed a genius way to get the pen away until I realized that we have only two pens left in the house. We are also very low on dog treats. Last week, I decided this was ridiculous. The Dog Whisperer would be horrified. I need to