|Screw Up Fairies in progress...|
Nyxie, being the brilliant German Shepherd dog that she is, recognizes most of the silly names we give her toys - Dead Kitty (sorry feline fans, but the poor thing's head is hanging precariously to one side), Blue Bunny One Ear and MooCow, to name a few. Feeling she'd be up to the challenge, I decide to teach her how to put her toys away. But since I'm no trainer, I don't have the foggiest idea of where to start.
|MooCow, Blue Bunny One Ear and Dead Kitty|
YouTube to the rescue! (At this point, I'm pretty sure I see Nyxie roll her eyes in disgust).
So I watch a couple of YouTube videos on how to do this trick, the trainer making it look so easy with her happy little background music and enthusiastic voice. How hard can it be? (Nyxie glances over at the clock on the cable box. Did she just start tapping her paw?)
|"tap, tap, tap"|
The goal is to have the dog pick up each individual toy off the floor and drop it into the toy basket. We've all seen it done and think "I wish my dog would do that!" Each step is rewarded - pick up toy, bring toy, drop toy, eventually becomes drop toy in basket - the final progression looking seamless. Clearly both trainer and dog are brilliant in every way! It's not as easy as it looks, folks.
I feel so stupid looking into Nyxie's deep brown, almond eyes. I can feel the intensity of her gaze, all the history and weight of her lineage dating back from 1889 when Capt. Max von Stephanitz began standardizing the breed in Germany.
I hear her sigh, her eyes saying, "It's ok. Why don't we start again tomorrow when you're more prepared."