Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Trained, or the Trainers? Another Zack and Zanna The Wonderdogs Story

My dogs are idiots.*

No, wait.  Let me rephrase that.

I am an idiot.  ThatManILove is an idiot.

In a most God-fearing, dog-loving, type of way.

My dogs?  Are off the wall, supernaturally smart.  And before you start the dog lectures, they are exercised (yeah, don't go all Cesar Millan on us) 1.5 hrs a day and are highly trained.  They have jobs.  All that.

But on top of all that, we have enabled, no, make that totally empowered, our dogs to freaking run this house. By that, I mean, they run us.

Zack is the easiest dog in the whole wide world.  If he can lay by your side, he’s happy.  If he can stand and look at the back door and you recognize he might need to go outside sometime, oh, within the next 30 minutes would be good if it’s okay with you, my wonderful master, he’s ecstatic.  He is amazing.

If Zanna?  The younger one?  And more possibly, the smarter of the two?  Yeah, her.  The spotted one. If Zanna the Wonderdog wants something?  She sidles up to me.  Or TMIL.  Or anyone she thinks may listen to her.  And give her exactly what she wants.  And she starts her act.

And this is her M.S.O. (Modus Spotted Operandus)

She is a communicator.  To the nth degree.  

First, she nudges you with her nose.  Acts all sweet. (It is a lie...the sweetness part.  She is ever the calculating manipulator.)

You, (reading, or watching TV, or working, whatever, it doesn’t matter, or at least to her, it doesn’t) reach down, and nuzzle her sweet face, pet her head, stroke her sweet back, let her know you know she’s there, and you care.  You really do.

That works for, oh, about...33 seconds.

She then steps it up a notch.  Gives you a little whine.  Almost so short, you don’t realize it’s a whine.  You certainly don’t realize that it might be… the beginning of a serious trash talking session, if you don’t pay attention.  This spotted whirling dervish girl can flat-out talk some trash.

Which, of course, you don’t. Pay attention, that is.  Because you’re busy, right?  You’re busy reading.  Or facebooking.  Or watching a movie.  Or, God forbid, even working. So…

You reach down, and give her a sweet little pat.  Rub her ears.  Her eyes.  Her forehead.  Again.  Even make eye contact with her, and talk sweet to her.  Which, by the way, does not suffice with Zanna in the least. But another 33 seconds go by. Maybe even 37 seconds.

Then, she prances around, jumps at you like she wants to play, and gives you a short bark.  You should really really really  (did I say really?) take this as a warning.

Again, you make the mistake of ignoring her.  You are an idiot!!  Can you really not tell, you Cesar Millan dog-whisperer wanna-be, that she really is trying to tell you something?

Zanna will now get on your lap and bark in your face.  It's almost scary. Like movie-type scary.  Like "The Exorcist" scary.  And if you don't make a move like you're gonna get up?  Well.  She will wander off.  Ruh-roh. Warning, warning, Will Robinson. This is not good.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Next thing that happens is:

Option A (not necessarily the best option)

At that point, you’d better not have one item of clothing or anything rippable laying anywhere within her reach…including a high dollar egyptian cotton towel on a towel rack.  Zanna is now on the hunt.  She is going to go around the house hunting for SOMETHING.  That something is definitely going to be a high dollar item.  And that item is going to be history in 2.3 seconds.  And though she be a trained gun dog, the verb “here” or “come” doesn’t work when she’s in full rebellion or just flat out pissed because you, her gracious master, didn’t obey her every look, whine, or cry for attention.  

This, my friend, is the beginning of  Zanna's revenge.  

Option A is where Zanna takes the term Bitch to a whole new level.

Option B
Now, if you're very very good, Option B can also happen. If the planets are aligned,  you’re on your A game and tuned in on a physic level to her royal highness-ocity of spotted dognessicity.  And, by the way, it doesn’t matter how many years she is old, or how many days we’ve had her (since she was a baby), ThatManILove still cannot read this girl Wonderdog of ours.  It’s like she’s a canine enigma to him.  (But, I digress.  Again.)

Option B is where one is "listening".  Attuned to Zanna's every move (and she has several) and one is ready to move, and I mean, move, quickly, at a moment’s notice.  She wants attention, and NOW.  

Attention usually manifests itself by rewarding in the following methods:

(1) Grabbing a pig ear rawhide out of the package and giving it to her
(2) Grabbing a greenie out of the cabinet. Giving it to her
(3) Opening the back door so she can go out because
a.     She needs to relieve herself or

She is a hunting dog.  Any of those are valid reasons for attention.  If you’re Zanna the Wonderdog, anyway.

And we, idiots that we are, pretty much cater to her every whim, when we’re paying the right amount of attention.  Because we’ve paid the price in Option A shreds by virtue, or lack thereof, of a pure lack of attention.

Her favorite item to shred?  TMIL’s Ralph Lauren jockey shorts.  They gotta be Ralph Lauren.  I kid you not.  After that, any shirt that costs upward of $50 will do.  She has been known to kill a Livestrong wind shirt.  Last time I checked, those were about $90 or so.  Anything Polo, she runs to, grabs, and is gone. 

Did you know that even a medicine bottle can be shredded?

A razor? The disposable kind?

An essential oils diffuser?  You cannot make this stuff up.

Yeah.  So it's of utmost import that you pay attention to this little heifer Zanna.  Shredding can lead her to stuff that can seriously hurt her - not that it will stop her.  So you absolutely have to be on top of it.   

ThatManILove gets extremely frustrated with Zanna’s behavior.  Mostly because it's his stuff that is left laying about...but I (again) digress.

I am a little easier to pacify. After I have exhausted every avenue of "What on earth could Zanna possibly want?" I give TMIL a look, Zanna a look, and head to the heater closet, where several of my best tools hang on the door.

They are called…(wait for it)…leashes.

You clip a leash to Zanna the Wonderdog’s collar, she hops up beside you on the couch, lays down, and is fine for hours.  She think she’s "working".  A leash is part of her gun dog training.

I’m not even kidding.

I, gentle readers, am not averse to a little mind manipulation of the canine kind. Especially if it buys me an hour of peace and quiet and dogs snoring by my side.

Where do you think she learned this stuff, anyway?

No drugs were used in the taking of this photo...though it might be a good idea. Just saying.

*I just want y'all to know I scared the pee-diddle out of myself by putting all this down on paper.  I don't think I'd ever thought about the width and breadth of Zanna's destructive tendencies.  Will one of you pass the Valium, please?

1 comment:

  1. She has wonderful tastes and extremely effective training methods!


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