If you have read “Communication Breakdown” you will know that I discovered that the best way to encourage my biped to prepare my meal quickly was to sit very nicely and watch her intently. She didn’t understand that I was encouraging her when I jumped up her and tapped her enthusiastically – she just stopped preparing my food and I had to find another way to encourage her.
Soon after I’d mastered sitting quietly, and oh so patiently, we started working on a new trick together. She would put a treat on the floor and I had to wait a moment. I was persuaded to do this because I would often get a second treat for waiting. But I did notice that the length of time I had to wait before being told I could take it increased!
Then we worked on a new version of this trick. I was asked to lie down and the treat was placed on my outstretched paw. This was almost unbearable at first and I could only wait a moment. But gradually it became a little easier for me.
Well, the biped decided that I should now wait when my meals were put down for me! I took a little more persuading on this because I was usually hungry and looking forward to my meal. But after a while I came round to her way of thinking, mostly because she retained the nice topping until I’d waited!
This particular day, she prepared my meal and put it in my dish – I waited. She had the tasty topping ready to pop in the dish, when the telephone rang. She quickly put the topping into my bowl and left the kitchen, closing the door behind her. She said something as she left the room, but I was supposed to give her my paw to be told I could eat. So I waited and I waited. I looked at the bowl and wondered how I could possibly resist that food. She couldn’t possibly be much longer on the telephone!
I heard her put the telephone down and I was pleased because I thought she’d come back and tell me I could have my lunch, but I heard her go in the other direction! I listened and sat quietly. She must come back soon! I began to think I was going to float away on a pool of drool – and Pyrenean Mountain Dogs don’t usually drool!
After what seemed like an eternity, she returned. She looked puzzled and then came and gave me a really big hug and told me how good I was. She opened the fridge and found something even nicer to add to the topping on my lunch and I gave her my paw and she told me I could eat.
I was so pleased to get my lunch! I had been thinking about it for so long that I was even hungrier than usual. But it tasted wonderful that day. One thing was for sure, I knew I’d now mastered the art of good table manners!
See you next Wednesday!