Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Power of Cheese

Asleep by the doggie door

I had been with my Dad about a month when he decided I needed to learn to use the doggie door. First Dad pushed me through the door about ten times, but when he let me go and called me I just stared at the door. It looked like a solid object after all. Next Dad held the door open, lowering it a bit each time with a bit of cheddar cheese waiting for me after I went through it. That worked until the door closed, then I pushed the door about a sixteenth of an inch but I wouldn’t push it open. Dad went Argggg, just like Charlie Brown does in the comic strip Peanuts.

Dad is stubborn and was determined to teach me to use that doggie door. So he put me in my crate, had exit to the crate next to the door. He called my name, waved the treat by the door. Again I just nudged that door. It looked like a solid wall to me. Dad kept me in that crate for twenty minutes. I couldn’t figure out what he wanted me to do, and that door looked solid. I could tell Dad was getting really frustrated, but I couldn’t figure the doggie door out. Dad was at his wits end, but decided to try one more idea and it worked.

Dad rubbed a small piece of cheese on both sides of the door and put a small piece at the other end. As I excitedly licked the doggie door, I noticed the door lid moved, next thing I knew there was a small piece waiting for me at the other end. Dad ran me through this drill about eight times with a treat at each end. I now knew how to use the doggie door.

Dad went shopping to the grocery store later. When he got back, he heard the door swing and saw me proudly swaggering around the corner, up to the fence by the drive way. I was showing Dad, I knew how to do this. Several times over the next couple weeks, I’d forget and just stand and whimper by the back screen door on the porch. Dad would look at me and say “Essex, you know how to get in.” and just walk away. After a minute or two I’d remember the door and then I’d check up on Dad. That is why my cyber paw friends, you should never doubt the power of cheese.

When Deacon came to live with us three years later, I taught him all about the doggie door. That way Deacon learned faster and I got to split the cheese with him. BOL.

Dog Speed,

Essex & Deacon

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