Since we brought Flattery home, my husband has been working diligently to teach her one thing. He has been working at getting her to sit on command. I know that some people think Greyhounds can’t sit, but they can. Other people think they can’t be taught to sit, or do anything else on command, but this is false. Greyhounds are just as capable of doing those things as other dogs. Flattery has a beautiful sit, she just doesn’t do so on command. Her pretty sit is one of the reasons Mr. Taleteller has been trying to hard to teach her to do it on command. I haven’t caught any pictures of her in the act, either, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
We’ve taught all of our Greyhounds, except Lilac, to sit and do other things on command. We were concerned that at Lilac’s age, she might not be able to do it comfortably, but ironically, she sat often on her own. Our delusion that she would have a short lifespan with us was another excuse not to work on it with her. Every night the Greyhounds used to line up for their treats and my husband would say “Treat, take a bow,” “Hawk, down,” “Blueberry, sit,” and “Lilac, look cute,” As a matter of fact, all of our other Greyhounds have been through at least basic obedience, and Blueberry had more than that under her collar. Bunny actually graduated at the top of her class.
Going to obedience class isn’t something we rush into with our Greyhounds, though. We give them a few months to adapt to home life before we start with class. We do try to get some informal training in on them before formal class happens, though. However, with Flattery, it’s proving very different. She is very smart, and very driven, but her drives aren’t like those of other Greyhounds we’ve had. This means we’re still working on her currency and finding what she will work for, versus something that might be a little too exciting, like a tennis ball. We’ll figure it out eventually.
The other day, my husband was sitting in the chair, catching up on the world at his computer. He was also eating a bowl of soup. The soup must have been pretty good, because I noticed that soon the Greyhounds were circling his chair like tiny, elegant sharks doing a ballet to the Jaws theme music. It’s funny, they never hound me for food, but that’s another blog post. I noticed that they had taken note of his dinner, but I was a little busy at my desk.
Suddenly, Mr. Taleteller exclaimed with excitement. Flattery was sitting there beside his chair, dainty as a little statue, hoping to get a bite of that soup. There sat my husband with nothing to reward her with. He sang her praises and did an actual happy dance there in the living room while Flattery stared at him in a way that said she still didn’t understand what to expect from humans. It was an entertaining spectacle that ended with her getting a treat that he fetched from the kitchen.
Friends of the internet, I’m pretty sure I just witnessed the birth of something that I saw many, many times with Blueberry. When Blueberry wanted something we were eating, she walked up and did her prettiest sit. If she sat, she completely believed that she was entitled to a bite of whatever you were eating. I have a feeling that her new protegé just learned a valuable and powerful lesson. Flattery may not sit on command, but I think she will sit when she wants something. It’s funny how fast they can train us humans when they set their minds to it.