I think I have previously touched on the subject of my superior intellect in other discussions so today I will talk about the methods I must employ in order to communicate with others who are not as gifted mentally.
Intelligence is of course a good thing, but it can also come to seem as almost a burden when you’re constantly surrounded by…let’s say…"simpler folk". Since they function at a lower level of understanding it is up to me, the superior one, to dumb things down or else we’ll get absolutely nowhere. I would use visual aids and sock puppets but since I don’t have an opposable thumb my only recourse is manipulation. Now, some of you may object to such tactics but I only ask that you hear me out and listen to what I have to say. It would also help if you left all the narrow-minded judging at the door! But let us move on.
Humans with their small hairless ears are very bad listeners. They often miss the entire point of a conversation leaving even the most even-tempered dog in a twitching fit of frustration. And, even if they do hear what you’re saying they almost always misunderstand you and do the exact opposite. For example, when last week I calmly walked up to my Grandma and asked to be taken out I made sure to mention that I would not, under any circumstances, tolerate wearing that blue, fur-lined “caplet” that she thinks I look so cute in. What did she then proceed to do? Shove me into that horror of blue, “faux-fur” polyester blend! I mean come on woman! It’s just too much. At first I thought they were purposefully acting obtuse until I realized that the truth is they just aren’t very bright. Someone who thinks a tacky blue caplet is a good fashion statement for any self-respecting canine is obviously two biscuits short of a full treat. This is when I came to the decision that a more subtle and effective method must be employed in order to cope with their human limitations.
I will now discuss my favorite technique:
The Blank Stare With Raised Paw Combo:
My mom has “taught” me various tricks she finds rather amusing. They include: sit, shake, play dead, nose kisses, etc. Now, I say “taught” because clearly I knew how to do these things all along but I like to indulge her whims from time to time and let her think she is teaching me a great skill. Of all these tricks there are few that I like to do at all if given the choice. Playing dead is a lot of work and unless I’m on a fluffy cushion I don’t like lying down on cold tile. Nose kisses would only make sense if she was to have food smeared on her face and barring that scenario really just seems pointless. The only reason I play along is because I usually get a treat out of it in between meals. But if she asks me to do a trick and there’s no food reward I really don’t like to cooperate since I’m not really getting anything out of it.
At first she would look at me and say, “Nose…nose…come on, nose.” I would look back at her and say, “Treat…treat…go get a treat.” This did not work. Very frustrating on both sides. To resolve this I developed, blank stare with raised paw combo.
For example, Sandra will sit in front of me and say “Bang!” Now, I know she wants me to play dead, but first I’ll look to see if she’s holding a treat in her hand. No treat, no bang. What I will do is stare blankly at her, maybe throw in a head tilt, and hold for five seconds. Then I’ll raise my paw and offer a shake. A shake is very easy and requires very little effort on my part so it’s my “go to move.” Then she’ll say, “No, not shake. Bang!” Again, hold a blank stare that shows my utter confusion. “What is this bang you speak of? I know not this bang.” Then I’ll raise my paw ever so hesitantly as if saying I’m really struggling with this and if you push me any further it might just begin to effect my self-esteem. She’ll come back with, “Come on you know this one. Bang! Bang!” I meanwhile have not put my paw down and will now raise it even higher and even throw in a little wave. Then I look up and offer her a look of confused desperation that says, “Isn’t this right? I just feel so lost!” Finally she will succumb to the puppy eyes and take my paw and give me a nice little pat on my head. She walks off thinking I’m a cute pup but no award winner and it’s a good thing she loves me in spite of that. I walk off thinking, “Wahahahaha!” Everyone wins.
Blank stare with raised paw combo also comes in handy in many other scenarios, such as once you’ve be caught unawares doing something you shouldn’t, when you want to get a treat, when you don’t want to go somewhere, or if you just want a pat on the head. It’s a very effective tool so I always suggest using it with discretion.
Later on I will discuss other techniques which include: Belly Up, Head on Lap, Puppy Eyes (a real crowd pleaser), Head on Paws and Jumpy Jump.
Flash’s Tip of the Day:
It’s not manipulation. It’s helping you help me.