The Dog Whisperer


My son moved in with me. He’s managed to get the super anxious, high-strung Jack Russell terrier to roll over onto her back when she sees him coming. She allows belly rubs to happen. This is huge.

I’ve been massaging Daisy Dog ever since pandemic life went online with Zoom. She knows to sit in my lap when I’m talking into my computer. The girl is smart.

When I zip up my make-up bag, she knows I’m heading to the:

  1. kitchen to do Zumba.
  2. kitchen slider to play ball with her.
  3. kitchen to give her a treat.

When I put on my hat, she knows the answer is play ball.

When I pick up my car keys, it means:

  1. car ride to the beach
  2. to the park to play ball (sadly those days are over for Daisy)

When I open the fridge door, it means:

  1. canned dog food to go with dry for breakfast
  2. hard boiled egg to go with dry for dinner
  3. apple for a treat, and she will get some.

My son wanted a couch (I didn’t have one). When his sister was moving to Baltimore for grad school, we took her couch from her San Rafael apartment and brought it home.

The first time all three dogs got on the couch when he was sitting there, he said, “This is why I wanted a couch.”

All three dogs love him. They will sit for him, spin for him, and wait at the door for him. He has that magic touch. If Pepper is on the couch and he comes near her, her tail goes thump, thump thump against the red coverlet.

I’ve decided that I have dogs for practical reasons (protection, theft deterrent, companionship,) but I’m not necessarily cuddly with my dogs. I don’t dress them up or kiss them or take selfies with them. I’m into walking with them, having them nearby, but not on me.

My kids take dog ownership to a higher level. They do all of the above. They give the dogs the best towels, blankets, etc. They let their dogs sit on their laps while at the kitchen table (I hate that). We’ve had more than one fight over this. My adult kids just laugh.

What can I say? I don’t have the patience to train my dog to roll over, play dead, shake, etc. As long as they sit when told and come when told (Daisy doesn’t), then I’m good.

My dogs are forever on leashes, but I live next to a green strip of park where dozens of people walk their dogs daily, many off leash. Those dogs were coming into my front yard to poop, as their clueless owners trailed behind or were looking at their phones or weren’t paying attention. Anyway, I’ve put up a wire fence for now until I can get them to stop. It’s against the HOA, but I really don’t care about that.

The post rambled a bit today. Let’s just say my son is more skilled in dealing with dogs than I am.

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