My mom has taken on the task of pet sitting Maddie whenever Tim and I are out of town. I wish it were as simple as dropping her off…but Tim and I are first-time-paranoid dog parents. Maddie’s list of must-have’s while we’re away is no less than two pages long. She has her toys: tigger, pinky, chuck the duck, valentine, the just plain duck, noodle, her balls, her nylabones. We bring her crate with her pink blanket, food dish, water dish, portioned food for each day…a medical release in case she needs to go to the vet.
It is a bit ridiculous, I know.
The funniest thing I had to compile were commands.
There’s the usual: sit, stay, down.
But then there are special commands if you want her to do something outside of the typical things. Like, for instance, if she’s being especially annoying and will not stop puting her head on top of your lap, we say “SPACE!” and she backs off. Or if she needs to have her…how shall we say…”area” cleaned, we tell her it is “poo-nanny time” and she’ll drop to the floor, roll over on her back and spread ’em. If she has something in her mouth she’s not supposed to have we tell her, “give it to me” and she’ll drop the slobbery item. We didn’t use “drop” but we probably should have in hindsight…
I can just see my mom now when Maddie is holding something in her mouth that shouldn’t be there.
Mom: “Maddie. Drop”
Mom: “Maddie! Drop it!”
Mom: “MADISON DROP IT!”
Mom: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHAT DOG DOESN’T KNOW DROP IT????”
Mom, after scanning the list to find the command, “Madison, GIVE IT TO ME.”
Out pops the item, tail wagging, proud as a peacock because she did what “give it to me” meant.
I know that after the first time that happens, the very first thing my mom will ask is why on earth I didn’t teach her “drop it,” because that makes sense.
(We tried “drop.” “Give it to me” somehow connected faster, so it stuck)