Bean Sprout turned three last week.
It has been too much fun watching him mature. How does he do it?
I haven't taught him much more than "sit" and "wait" (that last command is unbelievably useful and could be a lifesaver, so teach your dog to wait). The rest he's figured out on his own.
For the first couple of years, he was Cranky's main man. Wouldn't have much to do with me, romantically (though I was the tolerated technician: vet visits, behavior classes, haircuts, etc.). Then suddenly, last summer, he fell in love with me (and why is there a Motels song in my head?). We snuggle, romp and kiss. He trusts me. He feels safe in my lap, flat on his back with his tenderest parts exposed to the mean, scary world. (Cover up, ya perv!) I don't know what caused the breakthrough, but it's most welcome. He learned it all by himself.
He has figured out when I'm about to turn off the computer. I, myself, have not figured out how he figured it out. Do I make special noises as I go through the key-tapping shut-down process? Is there a particular butt wiggle I make in my chair? I don't know. But he does. He jumps up, and we play.
He has also learned to be unbelievably, sickeningly, adorably cute when we're in the kitchen cooking. I have always tried to keep him from learning that people food is tasty, so he won't beg. I don't reward him for begging. But he has taught himself to be heartbreakingly, George-Cloonily cute, and sometimes that results in my taking a break from the cutting board to hand him a dog treat.
Oh, and about that cutting board? Bean Sprout has taught himself to snorf up all the little particles that seem to have fallen to the floor.
Good heavens, am I that messy?
Well, I consider it effective cute-behavior reinforcement.
Or maybe he's just giving me a hard time. Clever little bastard.