Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pop Quiz

"Hey, Ray, do you want some Pop-Tart?" asked bigbossman Lucian.
Ray was in front of Lucian, his hound nose twitching a mile-a-minute. Lucian, landscape guy, was standing in my front yard eating his breakfast, a strawberry Pop-Tart.
"My dog doesn't eat junk food," I said mildly offended at the mere thought as Lucian handed Ray a tiny bite of his breakfast.
"He won't eat it. He doesn't like fruit or vegetables," I added as Ray took the food in his mouth and made a big show of chewing it up, waving his head up and down in exaggerated chewing mode.
I laughed. Ray was once again going to prove me wrong. But when he lowered his head and spat the food out on the grass, I laughed again as I bent over to pick up the piece for disposal.
But Ray wasn't done. His nose high, Ray was stalking Lucian, trying to find his breakfast.
"He probably just wants the crust," said Lucian breaking off an even more minuscule piece of the pastry.
He handed the tiny bite to Ray who took it gently, ate it, then popped up on his back feet and used one foot to tap Lucian for another bite. Lucian gave it to him. Again Ray ate the tiny piece, popped up and tapped Lucian for another piece. Not having much breakfast left, Lucian's last offering was little more than a crumb. Ray ate it with relish.
Watching the breakfast tableau repeat, I thought to myself: so this is how training is done.
And here is my question: who in this scenario was being trained; the bigbossman that handed over a piece of his breakfast every time he was tapped; or the blind dog that was given a Pop-Tart every time he popped up?


  1. LOL!! It's positive reinforcement for Ray, negative reinforcement for Lucian.

    I can sympathize with the hapless bigbossman. Savannah has taught me to scratch her ears when she digs her big old German Shepherd claws into my tender person. She's merciless in her pursuit of affection.

  2. Bigbossman schooled by Ray. Hehehehe - our dogs definitely train us more than we like to admit!

  3. The reason Ray most likely spit out the pop-tart is they were probably the organic, icky ones from Wegman's...not the yummy sugar filled Kellog's kind.

    But I will admit; mine have me trained.