As we approach the one-week mark for Cola being part of our family, I am humored by this concept of us training him to GO POTTY, SIT, STAY, HEEL, stay DOWN and SETTLE. Those capitalized words are never yelled, as my poor internettiquete might suggest. I only use emphasis to point out that they comprise the entire vocabulary of commands we use in trying to teach him the most important life lessons. I guess you could say this is his kindergarten.
But it occurs to me, perhaps six times a day — that term being used generically to indicate anything from 5 a.m. until 2 a.m. — that we are not training the dog. Instead, he is training us. While he may learn a few things about how to conduct himself, and his bladder control will continue to improve for several months, it is pretty clear that he is simply being a pooch, while two adults and two children work tirelessly to ensure his natural tendencies don’t win out over decorum. We seem to be growing more obedient and subservient to his every need by the POTTY break.
I mean, I don’t even recall being so quick to respond to even my kids when they were infants if their cries came at the ungodly sorts of hours Cola’s come. I am fairly certain my Grown Man Selective Hearing disability seems like a distant past at that early morning hour when the first peals of whining from his crate cause me to leap groggily from my lair so he doesn’t soil his.
So yeah, for someone who is notoriously laid back and slow to respond in the face of other peoples’ needs, I must tell you, we don’t train our pets. Our pets train us. Now excuse me while I go analyze his every wiggle, pirouette, and wimper to figure out whether he is playing or telling me its time to do my job and get him outside for his private moment.