Thursday, July 29, 2010
Dogs are not known for their patience. But I think we're short-changing them on this one. Imagine what it would be like to have needs that must be met, but relying on people to meet them! Now, people aren't necessarily dumb or ill-intentioned, although if you meet enough of them, you'll witness the full spectrum of human good and bad. I lean towards the belief that people are basically good, but the incentive to be good must be there, much like in puppies. So therefore humans are like puppies (hopefully with better coordination) - we need to be rewarded for our good behavior. Repetition is reinforced, behavior is repeated, etc. Allow me to prove to you Nyxie's amazing feat of patience and my reinforced response:
Sign of patience # 1. Early this morning, when all humans should be asleep, I woke to the whining and whimpering of a desperate Nyxie. She had to poo, NOW. The urgency of her need was quite clear, despite the crazy hour. I dragged myself out of bed with what seemed to me lightning speed, and most likely seemed to her a tequila-pickled turtle.
Sign of patience # 2. Earlier still in the night, I vaguely remember hearing some whimpering, but ignored it in my sleepy state. I most likely incorporated the sounds into my dream. Don't ask me what I was dreaming about...There was never any jumping on the bed, because Nyxie knows she's not supposed to jump on the bed while we sleep. There was no pawing at me or my face, which would not only injure me, but surely Nyxie would think this too rude.
Sign of patience # 3. As I stiffly made my way towards shoes and her leash, surely I figured she must've squirted a little present somewhere on the white carpet. Scanning the room with eyes and nose, it was clear to me that she had held it all in for however long the urgings had been tormenting her. As we made our way to the door, she leaped all around me in sheer joy that I had understood her need and was obliging her.
Sign of patience # 4. Finally, as Nyxie is a working-bred German Shepherd, with blazing "protect, obey and duty" instincts, she didn't immediately release her poo as I'm certain she desperately wanted. No. She scanned the perimeter, sniffed the air, listened to the sounds of the creek at night and craned her neck to see and smell far beyond the immediate area. Safety was confirmed, and only then did she release the horrendous poo.
Now that I've completely disgusted some of you, let's review. How many of us could show such patience? I for one know that if I was in Nyxie's fuzzy shoes, the carpet would've been the first casualty. Not just in one spot, but in many places as I tried to get away from the stank but still complete my mission. I would've also bopped my human a few times in the face with enough force and nails to get the job done so she/he could clean up the mess! I don't think I'd make a very good dog.
In the bigger picture, Nyxie has taught me well. She's rewarded me with a clean carpet and furniture, and no bodily injuries. Now I know the difference between the play whine, "Hey, toss the ball already!" and the, "Holy hell, I HAVE TO POO NOW!!!" whine. Also, she's learned that her human is trustworthy. I can meet her needs, albeit slowly and clumsily. What was that about puppies again? Positive reinforcement is a wonderful, glorious thing.
Posted by ForPetsSake at 12:53 PM