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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Training the Apprentice

Rather unbelievably, Teddy has been with us now for almost a month, and his owner is still in hospital. They keep talking about moving her to somewhere closer and then we could go for a visit, but so far, they can’t find a bed for her. I could always lend her one of mine; I’ve got a spare. Anyway, when she does move, she’s keen to meet me as well as see Teddy. ‘Her Indoors’ is busy trying to find excuses to leave me at home and just take Teds; she’s got no spirit of adventure, what can I tell you. I’ve never actually been to a hospital, nursing home or hospice, but I’m guessing it would offer plenty of opportunities to a dog of an inquisitive disposition. I could be in with a chance as how could ‘Her Indoors’ refuse the reasonable request of a poorly lady?
      Whilst Teddy has been with us, I’ve been trying to get him up to speed on the basics, and there have been some successes. After a collection of disturbed nights ‘Her Indoors’ finally accepted that if she was going to get an unbroken night’s sleep, she’d have to have Teddy in the bedroom. To begin with, she slept in ‘Junior Hers’ bedroom as she knew, in her absence,  she wouldn’t object to a dog being in there. When ‘Her Indoors’ realised that Teddy doesn’t stir, he just sleeps happy in the knowledge that he’s not alone, she persuaded ‘Him Indoors’ to allow Teds to sleep in his bed, on the floor, next to her side of the big bed. This is working fine and I get the kitchen all to myself so I can get a good sleep too. I need it at my age. When the Juniors found out that not only had ‘Him Indoors’ got a second dog in the house, but he was allowing it to sleep in his bedroom, they expressed concerns about his mental state, but it is of course, all down to me and my careful training. If you haven’t read my training manual, ‘Sit, Stay, Roll Over’ then you really aught to. I’m a master at the top of his game if I say so myself.
      Another success has been teaching Teddy to bark back at the Leonburger, Ben, next door, who seems to think he can boss us small furs around from his side of the fence. ‘Her Indoors’ doesn’t like it, as all the barking is quite noisy, but with two of us on the case, she finds it difficult to round us up and move us on. 
      I’ve had less success so far with what I would term low level disobedience. In fairness, Teddy has tried. When ‘Her Indoors’ calls us in from the garden and I ignore her, Teddy tries hard to do the same, but when she crouches down, opens her arms and calls him in her cutesy voice, he can’t resist. He’s also tried refusing to move out of a room but he’s on a hiding to nothing with that one as he suffers from separation anxiety. If he doesn’t come when called, ‘Her Indoors’ just walks out and leaves him on his own. After a couple of minutes, he can’t hold out any more and trots off to find her. I personally think this is a low tactic, taking advantage of a fur’s inherent weakness, but ‘Her Indoors’ has had years of dealing with me so has learnt to be a bit cunning.
      On balance though, Teddy is doing okay, and he’s shown great promise in the squirrel and rabbit chasing department. I’m looking forward to some team work as the weather improves. We’re sending daily updates to his owner, with photos and video clips to show he’s doing fine, so we’ll just have to see how things go. One thing is for sure, Teddy is welcome here for as long as needs be. I can always find work for young paws.
Just a word in my ear....!
Teddy bristling in his defence of our boundaries
Team Rolo!
Teddy offering passive resistance to the crate
Teddy giving up and complying *sigh*


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