Persistence Pays

by Houndstooth on

I love our dogs, but sometimes I can’t help feeling that they live to get the better of me.  This week in particular, Flattery has been one determined little miss and I am not sure whether to admire her or throttle her.  She has a one track mind and if there’s one thing that she has learned and taken to heart, it’s that persistence pays.

The Scarecrow Cafe -- Tales and Tails

The Scarecrow Cafe

As a senior lady, Bunny asks to go outside more often than she used to.  To her credit, when she does go out, she takes care of business.  It’s even been an age since she asked to go out just for a nibble of sweet grass, which she loves, and she’s never been one to ask to go outside for ulterior reasons, besides taking a walk.

The other day, Bunny and Morgan were both letting me know that they needed to go out.  So, I took the Greyhounds out and put them in the turnout pen, then came in and took Morgan out on the longer leash.  Morgan doesn’t waste any time outside, either.  I brought her back inside, then went out to fetch the Greyhounds.  Of course, Bunny had taken care of business right away, but Flattery stood there admiring the clouds in the blue sky.

When we came in, Bunny and Morgan each got a treat, and Flattery, who was simply woolgathering, did not.  In case you all didn’t get the message, the world almost stopped there for a few minutes.  Flattery was stupefied.  At first, she was sure there was some mistake.  She came over and gave me her puppy dog eyes, her ears cocked up as she danced about in anticipation of her treat.  I remained firm.  Flattery began trotting around the living room and kitchen, hoping her treat would appear.  Not getting fed causes a near panic state for her, but I remained calm.  Bunny and Morgan were watching her in bafflement.

As is often the case these days, Bunny asked to go out again a few minutes later.  Getting older isn’t any easier for dogs than it is for us humans.  So, I got up and headed for the back door with her.  Flattery was right behind me and I got another leash and patiently took her back outside.  Bunny got done with her business while Flattery watched the leaves blow off the tree in the backyard.  We came back inside and Flattery still didn’t get a treat.

Treats For Tricks, You Say?

She turned on the charm in a big way, placing her head against my chest and giving me her look of deepest devotion.  I hugged her and told her to go lay down.  Laying down was not on her agenda, but I wasn’t giving in.

Not long after that, Mr. Taleteller came home for lunch.  He always takes the girls out as soon as he comes home and Flattery could not get to the back door fast enough.  She made sure that he knew just how very much she loves him.  It was so obvious, in fact, that he commented on it and I told him about what had been going on.  Apparently, the third time is the charm, because when he brought the girls back in, he handed me a treat to give her.

I’m still not sure she made the association over the difference between getting a treat for going out to look at the sky and getting a treat for going out to go potty.  But I am pretty sure that she would have kept asking to go out until she got a treat.  The girl does not give up, and most of the time, I think that’s to her credit.  Even though I got a little tired of going in and out, I did have a good chuckle over her antics.  One day, I hope she figures it out, but in the meantime, we’ll keep doing our best to steer her in the right direction.

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  • Sue Dyer

    I use to give treats to my girls when we came back in from a loo break. then Honey started asking to go out in between our usual loo break times. She’d do a few drips and then pull to come in and would expect a treat. As soon as I cottoned on (being human I was a little slow:)), the treats stopped after loo breaks.

    Hope you have a nice day. Sue, Polly & Honey

  • SGilbert

    Skipper our Vizsla will go outside and stand and looks at the sky watching the cloud go by or the birds or sniffing the air. He does this just before a storm is coming too. He is fascinated with the sky. Flattery is not alone.