Ann’s Blog How to train your pack-human (Tea) by Bonny Dog
My pack-lady’s been off at the Looe Literary Festival this past weekend, something to do with her book ‘Some Kind of Synchrony’ – but it gave me ‘paws’ for thought – after all my training, was I going to have to start again with another one of the human pack I’m in? It also gave me a chance to take over this blog again! Been years since the last time I got on here -click here if you missed my video!
I always fancied ‘a cup of tea’. They say it to all the humans that arrive (smelling delightfully of other places and other dogs) so I figured it must be something good. After all, a lot of them said ‘yes’ and sat down to drink this interestingly scented beverage.
So about a year ago I began the training; this is how it went.
They eat their breakfast and then give me mine – fine – I know where I am in the pack … but then she goes and pours cups of this ‘tea’ for everyone. So this time I stare at the back of her head as she pours – sending those thought-waves that signal ‘someone is staring at you’. She turns, ‘What?’ she says, ‘You’ve had your breakfast.’ True, and I have had to use this method occasionally when she’s poured their tea before giving me my breakfast – she is always contrite and apologises for forgetting.
This time I keep staring even as she turns back to pouring someone else’s cup. She glances round at me, then picks up the cups and takes them through to the dining room. I follow and sit so that I can get my head on her lap. I get a fuss – nice enough – but I want some tea… so I slip away – go and look in my bowl then stare at the teapot. Glance round to see if she’s looking. No! She’s got a book in her hand! Damn. I go and try to dislodge it, nose under elbow and a quick flick… usually works. She turns round so her elbows are on the table! Manners! But her elbow comes off the table when she picks up her cup of tea – I try again, almost spilling it. Maybe not my best move as she is now a little annoyed.
She always has a second cup of tea, so when she goes to pour it I follow. The milk goes in, and then she picks up the teapot. The thought waves I’m sending are really strong, pot in hand she glances round. ‘What?’ she says.
I open my eyes wide staring at the pot. She doesn’t understand so, as she tries to pour, I nudge her rear with my nose. She stops, turns, ‘What? You want a cup of tea?’
She pours milk and tea into one of the emptied cups, then picks up her cup and starts back towards the dining room. ‘Whoa! Wait – Where’s my tea?’ I dance out in-front of her.
‘Out of the way,’ she says – I know those words – but when she sits down I put my head back on her lap and press down – give her the soulful look. ‘It’s got to cool’ she says.
No – I’m not sure what that means? But I decide against the elbow tipping as that was not good idea last time but I go back to the kitchen and try the staring at the bowl, staring at ‘my’ cup of tea routine again, adding a very tiny whine. She sees me and laughs.
You know it’s great when my pack-lady laughs – good pheromones come wafting around – sometimes she’ll even roll around on the floor and play with me, like her pups do when they are at home.
‘You have to wait for it to cool’ she says again, but this time I think it will be okay – whatever it means.
She finishes her cup of tea, picks up plates, butter, marmalade and her cup from the table and heads into the kitchen.
I’m dancing around, can’t wait to have a ‘cup of tea’. She laughs again, sticks a finger in the cup says ‘Okay, cool enough’ and pours it into my bowl.
I go forward and taste.
Yes! I like tea! I soon lap it all up while she watches.
It takes less than a week from there to – a stare (she’s really good at picking up that vibe) then a gentle nose-nudge as she’s pouring their first cups of tea and she’ll ask ‘Want a cup of tea?’ I lick my lips and she pours some into a small plastic bowl to cool. I get my tea when she pours her second – works like a dream!
Within a month she’s pouring my tea everyday, without any reminders – and apologising if she forgets. Which is what she did when she was busy fussing round and going off to the Literary Festival early; forgot – and it was no use trying to get through to the pack-men around here – they just don’t pick up on the signals as well!
Anyway – the Lit Fest is all done with and life is back on an even keel again – breakfast followed by my tea.
I hope that this will help any other canines out there who need to train their human.
Choosing the receptive one is key, then perseverance and love.
Do let me know what you think (humans too – I love to hear both sides of the story)