Saturday, February 04, 2012

An Old Dog Teaches Her Human a New Trick

Kaya's 15 Seconds of Fame, thanks to Purina

Have I mentioned lately how awesome my dog is?

Kaya and I have been a team for 3 years now, and we still like each other. 
This week I learned that an old dog (she's 7) can still teach me new tricks.
For as long as I can recall our routine (and that of most dog owners I think) is to take her out to do her business, or even just let her run out on her own, and when she comes back in the door I give her a little scratching and ear rub, and tell her she's a good girl and "so good looking." (A joke I picked up from Seinfeld years ago.)
Lately she's been driving me crazy. She got to go play with two other dogs for a whole week while I was out of town. And since I've been back, she's been very demanding about wanting more attention and playtime. Unfortunately for her, since I've been back, I've started working again, and have had no play time to give. She gets frustrated with me and will come up to where I am sitting and working with my laptop and placing her face on top of the keyboard to get attention. This usually gets her sent to time out.

So she stepped up her game demanding walks and standing by the door making insistent noises that I let her out. All dog owners know to not ignore this behavior, so I give in and let her out. Normally she runs out, prances about the yard, does her business, and runs back in. But lately she's been doing something new. She runs out a few steps like she intends to dart across the yard, stops, turns and looks at me, wags her tail and runs back in the door and right up to me, waiting for her praise and rub down.
At first I thought I was imagining things. But she's done it so many times now that I know she's doing it on purpose.
All she really wants is attention and to be loved on, so she's resorting to the one behavior that always gets her that reaction- running out the door and running back in.
After I caught on I felt guilty and took her for a real walk. And I even played fetch with her for a few extra minutes. Apparently an old dog can teach her human a new trick.

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