He really is.
And he has many names: Cadbury, Cadders, Dooge, Doogie, Doogus, Buddy, Pup, Puppers, Poopsie, Poopsicle, Little Swine, Butthead, and many others.
I say he’s a doofus because one of the reasons is his ability to focus on nothing else but the food (or potential thereof) surrounding your personal space. Doesn’t have to be in your hand. Doesn’t have to be on the table near you. Just has to have the potential for crumbies to fall on the floor, or for your person to seem like the type to offer him food, willingly or by mistake. He’s a professional scrounger. His number one job is to be Mr. Hoover (for my American folks, that’s a vacuum) around the kitchen whenever we give him the, “Okay, find it!” command. It might be his sole purpose in life.
This makes training him easier than some other dogs. I don’t say “easy” because he has his moments (all dogs can pretend not to hear their owners recalling them, la-la-la!), but he is definitely food motivated. So I had to laugh last week when I tried to introduce a new trick to his repertoire before food time: fetch. He plays with two beat up tennis balls and a bright orange Grubber toy ball outside on a daily basis. His Grubber might be his favorite outside toy of them all. I thought it would be a simple matter of throwing him a ball (tennis, in this case) and watching him catch it before I released him to eat breakfast. He was having none of it. Super excited, he focused halfheartedly on me and almost wholly on the bowl full of raw meat, veggies, organs, and eggs behind my legs. He did not focus on the tennis ball that bopped him in the face. Hey, man, you have to catch the ball. I tried again, giving him the command “watch” to get his eyes off the food. Bonk! Another time. Nope. He opened his mouth a touch after the fourth attempt (near-miss), but refused to catch a ball he had caught hundreds of times before. What gives?
After five minutes of this charade, I decided teaching Cadbury new tricks involving catching a moving object (and not, say, just spinning in a circle or moving back a few paces) was not the best way to motivate my dog in the morning. Drooling slightly with anticipation and giving me the world’s most heart-meltingist sad puppy dog eyes, I could just hear Cadbury saying, “Food, just give me the food. I’ll do all the tricks I know for that food.” I gave him some easy commands and let him eat. He has me trained better than I think.
In other news, being sick while pregnant is no bueno. And going to the local clinic and seeing your least favorite nurse practitioner is like going to the Navy corpsman on duty and being told to change your socks and take an ibuprofen. It was essentially the same advice, except pregnant women can’t take ibuprofen, so I was advised to take paracetamol (British version of acetaminophen; Tylenol) and drink hot lemon and honey water. I was also gently mansplained to that being six months pregnant makes one tired more often and that I shouldn’t be worried if I’m not as full of energy as I once was. But at least I hadn’t waited twenty minutes past my appointment time to hear him run his suck. The rather loud commentary in my head went something like this: “Broseph, I know my body. My kid’s just fine. My pregnancy’s been pretty damn easy considering this is my first. I’m sick. I’d like to get better. Please just run some tests or swab my throat or something so I know what I’m working with and what I can take to fight this stupid virus.” But I refrained. If I get worse, I’m calling my sweet-ass, down-to-earth, uber experienced midwife and asking her opinion.
To end on a positive note, spring has sprung and my three apple saplings and my patio cherry tree arrived in the mail yesterday. I am so excited, it’s all a bit ridiculous. I’m gonna engage in one of my favorite pastimes today and get downright dirty.