Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pavlov's Dog Redefined

I don't know much about old dogs and new tricks, but I do know a thing or two about new dogs and old tricks.

So we taught our dog Lark to ring a bell when he has to go to the bathroom. We had heard of such a trick but were naysayers. Truth be told, between my poo-pooing of great ideas that are not my own and Mac Daddy's contrarian cynicism, we are naysayers much of the time.

Lark has made believers out of us.

Because we adopted Lark just after Thanksgiving, we had jingle bells of all shapes and sizes and tones jing-a-linging all around us. Every store front and street corner were practically jingle bell rocking in jingly style. I bought some large brass bells tied to the tackiest of red velvet ropes adorned with a big ass red velvet bow. I suppose this doorknob accoutrement was meant for someone's front door, but for us it was perfectly suitable for the mudroom door that thankfully no one sees. There are certainly times I have poor taste, but tacky I am not.

And so we began to take Lark's paw and ever so gently tap the bell before we opened the door to take him out. He looked at us quizzically like we had bells for brains. We thought ourselves fruitcakes to even be trying such a trick. Yet even in the wee hours of drizzly sun up and sun down, we took his little paw and made that little bell ring-a-ling.

Fast forward several months.

Well hells bells! It worked.

Little pooch Lark rings the bells every time he has to potty. Even my kids, who can talk for cripe's sake, don't communicate their system flushing needs that well. This is how we ended up with poop on the dining room floor when Bird was two.

So now when we hear Lark ring the bell, we come running. Lickety split.

Who's Pavlov's dog now?
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@sweetbabboo said...

That's great. Our family cocker spaniel used bells too. He was the one that taught us though. I guess being in a house with three kids and two cats, he knew he had to do something to get our attention. It's a trick I will definitely teach our dog if we ever decide to get one.

What a smart puppy you have!


Anonymous said...

That is brilliant. Never heard of that idea, but how smart!