Just after my first birthday, I was out in the garden when a good friend from the end of our street came to visit. He was chatting with one of my bipeds and he said that he’d like to see what I’d been learning at my training classes. I liked the sound of this – demonstrating my skills usually brought treats my way.
I had shown him all the usual things like “sit” and “down”. Then I showed him that I could walk backwards, which is very useful when I get into a confined space and he was ever so impressed. He then asked me to shake hands. I thought it was about time he gave me something tasty as a treat for being so nice to him. So I sat ever so nicely and offered him my paw as I’d been taught, but I put on my sad expression. He laughed and said that he was sorry but he didn’t have any nice treats with him.
That really did make me feel sad. I think my expression became even more convincing because I saw one of my bipeds hand him a large dog biscuit shaped like a bone. I pretended not to have noticed. He broke the biscuit in half. He told me how clever I was and gave me one piece. I was offended! I’d performed all my tricks beautifully and he only gave me half a biscuit. Unbelievable! I took it politely and I trotted off to put it in a safe corner of the garden. Then I returned and sat in front of him with a very mournful expression on my face.
He said, “Oh dear! She doesn’t like that type of biscuit!”
I sat up straighter and looked pointedly at the other half of the biscuit, which was still in his hand.
One of my bipeds said, “Those are her favourite biscuits. I think she wants the other half. We usually give her a whole one.”
He said, “No, dogs don’t think like that.” He paused and said, “Okay, let’s see!”
He handed me the other half. I took it and gave him my paw to say thank you. I hurried away to where I’d put the first half of the biscuit and I settled down to enjoy the reunited halves of my treat.
I heard him laugh and say, “Well I never! And I thought I knew dogs. Clowie’s the first dog I’ve ever seen worry about what might be still to come. Most dogs would have eaten the first half and then tried for the rest.”
He obviously hadn’t met very many Pyrenean Mountain Dogs! As I munched on my treat, I planned how I was going to train him to hand over the whole biscuit straightaway in future.
See you next Wednesday!