Two Things Have Happened–One Semi-Expected and One Not
I am teaching the dog to come when he’s called, specifically so that I can put a leash on him for our walks. This has been somewhat frustrating, because he just so steadfastly refused to get it for so long, but also, I thought, if there was anything he was going to get, it was coming when he was called to the leash because he and I both enjoy walks. We needed just to make it from one happy scenario–running around the back yard like a wild man–to another happy scenario–going for a leashed walk–with the transition being he came when he was called. The reward–the walk–was built into the problem. It has taken some time, but he seems to now have it down. Today, I said his name and “let’s put on your leash” and he came right over to me so I could put on his leash. Score one for us.
After our walk, I was putting away something in the yard while Sonnyboy was lollygagging in the garage. I came back from the shed and he was no longer in the garage. I looked over to the neighbor’s and there he was. I said “Okay, [his real name], come here.” Once! I said it once! And he did. And I died. And I am writing this to you from dog heaven, where dogs come when they’re called and get leashes for walks like pros. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic. But I at least think, after two long years, either he has kind of learned his name or he at least is like “Oh, that girl is making noises. This could be interesting.” Either one is okay with me.