Sunday

How Do You Say NO, sometimes…


When I got my very first dog, I remember the person who sold me my first dog giving me some useful information.  He said “If your dog only learns one word, it needs to be “NO.”  I didn’t give it much thought then, but now I see the value in his wise advice.


Mollie
Many times we succumb to the “wants” of our children, grandchildren, and spouse.  That’s perfectly acceptable (Elaine may read this) in most cases, but with a dog, things change.  I’ve always told a story to new dog owners about a dog that’s gets into the garbage canister.  As he is in it, you say “no, ” and he stops.  He again gets in it, and you again tell his “no, ” and he stops.  This command goes on for nearly ten times, and you see him again, and you just ignore it.   The dog is in Heaven, even though you have corrected him nine times, in his mind, he has your permission to get into the garbage container or the dishwasher.  He has won…




As a parent, my job is to teach my children to survive in this world making wise decisions.  Hopefully, when they grow up, they will realize that you’re not as stupid as they always thought you were.   I remember that moment very well when I was 31 years old, and the very moment it happened.  Dad and I were working on a project, and I went into the house to get each of us a cold glass of water.  I walked onto the porch, and for some reason I stopped and turned around, looking at dad.  Lighting struck me, and the message that came to me was “Dad’s not as dumb as you think,”  and I realized it was TRUE.  What an awakening.  After that, our relationship changed for the better.  Dad didn’t change I did.

With dogs, you could correct them a thousand times a day, and they will try again and again and again.  If they only knew that it was for their betterment and sometimes ours.  You don’t want them to charge into the street; you don’t want them to jump on the mailman or the dog warden if he visits, which did happen here once.  We try and try, and hopefully, it gets through, but it usually doesn't, but the correction is much easier if it’s constant.  I usually just call their name or say NO.  In any given day I will say…

Let me sleep…
No…
Abbie, don’t wash my nose off…
Gabby, don’t scratch my back with your nails…
Ok, I’ll get up…
Dutchess get off the table…

Of course, it is
Dutchess get out of the dishwasher…
Dutchess get your water out of the bowl. Not the toilet…
Dahlia, you’re too big to be in my lap…
For the love of God, can I go to the bathroom without all of you?

Yes, it's Dutchess here too...
And this is just in the first ten minutes of the day.

There is always an exception to the “NO” rule.  Last night, I was making some chicken jerky in the dehydrator in the utility room because it has a door. We make it there because Dutchess cleaned out two trays of jerky when we did it in the kitchen when she got on the table and helped herself.  The chicken jerky was finished, and I was taking it off the trays.  Elaine came into the room with Abbie.  “What’s up,” I said.  “Abbie needs a dog cookie” and proceeded to get one out of the cabinet.  “Abbie is special,” she said.  “We just don’t know how much longer she has, and I want to spoil her.”


Abbie
As most know, Abbie has Lymphoma and has lived well beyond what most thought she would.  Do we say “NO” to Abbie?  At times but she gets extra treats along with snuggles and kisses.  Last night she had a couple of homemade dog cookies and also got a couple of pieces of chicken jerky, some I accidently dropped on the floor.  Now we don’t baby her, but we do make sure she is treated with love, and she gets in the front of the line, so to speak.  I always make space for Abbie, usually in my lap, but she will share with Annie and Meggie.  The couch is full until snack times comes around and I make sure that Abbie gets two treats for every one that the others get.  No one seems to care, but Dutchess, because she counts.   Give your Dog a hug today…   Ken

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