Once, I made him sit, put the food in his bowl, then told him to go ahead and eat it. He just sat there staring at me. I walked away thinking, eh, he’ll eat it. Moments later he was still standing there, staring at me. The staring wasn’t working. He started to give a low rolling growl (not at all mean sounding) and batted at his dish a little. I came over to him and thought about how he likes to back onto trees to poo. Is the dish too close to the corner? I moved the dish out a bit and viola! He began to eat.
On the other occasion Steve was trying to get Joe to roll over. He learned this a while ago, but we haven’t used it much so he sort of needs to be re-taught. In the kitchen on the hard tile floor, Steve repeatedly told Joe to lay down – the first step in teaching a dog to roll over. Once the dog is laying, you use the food to make him roll. Well when it came to the roll part Joe kept getting up really fast and running over to the coffee table. After doing this about three times I realized that he wanted to roll over on the rug under the coffee table instead of on the hard tile floor! Steve went over there and Joe rolled on the first request!
I find it so fascinating that my little doggy has managed to communicate with me despite the fact that he can’t talk. How frustrating that must be when I don’t get it right away. I realize that dogs tell their owners things all the time, like “hey, I want to go out.” But I see the things above as a little more complicated than that. I wonder what else he would tell me if he could.