I used to get bored with training when I was a puppy. So I encouraged my bipeds to think of new tricks to liven up our sessions. This is a tale of how one of our tricks didn’t work out quite as expected.
I was five months old and I already knew a few tricks. The male biped said he was going to be away on business all week. My bipeds had a chat about what tricks I could learn in the week and he suggested “high fives”.
I had a couple of practice sessions with the female biped and then she stopped including it in our training sessions, so I knew I’d mastered that trick really quickly! I was looking forward to demonstrating it at the weekend. We continued to work on me crawling and rolling over and all the boring things that I already knew – like sit and stay.
Friday evening arrived and the male biped came home – I was so pleased to see him! I showed him that I could crawl and that I could roll over – he made a fuss of me and gave me some treats. Then he said, “I thought you were going to teach Clowie high fives. Can she do it yet?”
I couldn’t believe what the female biped had to say! She said, “She has lots of enthusiasm, but she’s still very clumsy. I’ve given up on that for now as she’s altogether too handy with her paws anyway!”
Too handy with my paws – that doesn’t even make sense!
He said, “Can I try?”
She said, “Yes, but it hurts when she hits you with her paw!”
He replied, “Well, it can be my trick with Clowie then.”
The female biped said that would be fine. It’s strange how many meanings ‘fine’ has, particularly when a female biped says it! He knelt down on the floor, I was sitting. He put a hand up and said, “High fives!”
I was keen to show him how well I could do it. I put my paw up and it connected with his chest. He smiled and tried again. I tried slightly more enthusiastically and tapped him on the shoulder. He spoke to the female biped, “I think I see what you mean! I’ll leave it till she’s a bit older.”
He stood up. I was very keen to show him that I could do much better, so I put my paw up as hard as I could, even though he hadn’t asked me to. He suddenly doubled up, he made some very strange noises and his face went bright red. He looked as though he was in excruciating pain! The female put her hand on his shoulder and said, “Are you okay?” He nodded, but he was still making odd noises and he stayed doubled over.
She looked across at me. I was still sitting nicely. I had my head on one side because I was trying to work out what was going on. She turned away and I could see her shoulders start to shake. The male biped was now trying to stand up normally. He said, “It’s no use turning away – I can tell you’re laughing!”
She turned round and she was laughing out loud now. She said, “I’m sorry, but it is funny!”
He said, “Not so much for me! Is there any chance of a cup of tea, please?”
A cup of tea! Excellent idea! That always puts a biped to rights – whatever the problem. After he’d sat and had his cup of tea, he started to look much better again. I thought he might like to work on our high five again, so I tapped him on the leg with my paw. He pulled away and said, “Oh no, you keep your paws to yourself, until asked.”
The strange thing is, he’s never asked me to do high fives since that day. Not ever. Not even once.
See you next Wednesday!