Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sit, Rocky !

There is the physical health and the mental health to take care of.
And the many exciting developments concerning the business.
On top of this comes the care for the two dogs that are frequently abandoned by their owner.

This is specific of Alfredo and without any bad intentions.
He simply knows that when he goes to spend some days with his girlfriend Jorgina, there is another person around who will take care of his dogs.
By now this is an attitude that has been accepted and no big thing is made out of it.

Even the dogs are used to it.
When Alfredo leaves, they move in under the Fuso Szulc.
When he returns after a couple of days, they go back to the rancho.

Over the last month it has been noticed that one of Alfredo’s dogs, the canine called “Rocky”, is a very clever and smart dog.
He is able to understand instructions, to remember them and to follow them up.

One of the tricks he has learned is to run after a stick thrown into the sea.
He dives into the water, swims to the stick, grabs it in his mouth, and swims back to the shore to put the stick near his proud instructor.

This may seem not a big deal for a dog to achieve.
A fervent and loyal blog reader may have a dog that, as the best trick, starts barking when the doorbell rings.
Or sits on his hind legs when offered a cookie.
Or even brings the Sunday newspaper to the bed.

But we must remember we are here in Mexico and this dog called “Rocky” has always lived in total freedom.
That means complete anarchy.
He is not even potty trained, ladies and gentlemen.
So for him to suddenly become acquainted with some form of intelligence is a revolution seldom seen in a dog.

The audience must also be aware that “Rocky”’s training is without rewards like cookies, sugar cubes or cats.
The only reward being used is words of praise and appreciating touches on his head and body.
“Good dog, Rocky !
Very good dog !
WHAT a good dog !”

That works as well.

The next trick he has been learning took quite a long time for him to master.
He had to learn to sit on his hind legs when the commando “Sit” was coming to him from the instructor.
That may sound like an easy thing, but again, this dog is based in the wild animal world.
To do something a human wants is an unknown activity in the dog’s repertoire.

The next step was to have him from the sitting position lift his right front leg and put his paw in the hand of the dog trainer.
An even more complicated procedure.
That’s like going from Primary School to University.

Very complicated because the other dog, going by the name of “Gante” is awfully jealous and interferes all the time.

“Gante” creates a situation of nervousness and turmoil and that upsets “Rocky” so much he can’t concentrate on his homework.
Hence, “Gante” is put in a place far away from the training grounds and indeed praise and prizes go to the dog trainer because eventually “Rocky” mastered to follow up correctly the instructions “Sit” and even “Foot”.
He would sit down and would put his paw in the hand.

This routine was repeated several times a day to get it deep into his brains.
Because the plan was to surprise Alfredo.

When he would come back, the plan was to ask Alfredo to seat himself.
To go in front of him with “Rocky” and demonstrate what this smart dog had learned.
To impress Alfredo and make him feel proud of his dog.

Yesterday was the day.
Alfredo had returned.
Late in the afternoon he was asked to sit quietly down to see something spectacular.
“Rocky” was called and he came happily and tail wagging to the arena.
He was placed right in front of the instructor in full and clear sight of Alfredo.
“Rocky, sit !”

“Rocky” was looking around but not sitting down.
“Rocky, sit !!”

No response…
“Rocky, SIT !!!”

It looked he didn’t know what it was all about.
Pretending there had not been hours of intensive dog training.
Everything possible was tried to make “Rocky” sit down but he simply refused to collaborate.
No sitting down.
No dog feet offered.

Alfredo was now not looking anymore to his dog but to the sweating and desperate instructor.
Who started to explain what the dog was refusing to show: that he could sit down and offer his right foot after the instructions “Sit” and “Foot”.
Alfredo heard this and obviously had his own thoughts about the performance.

Meanwhile “Rocky” had joined “Gante” for some new playing in their anarchistic world.
Leaving his instructor in a most embarrassing situation.

Later, back at the Fuso Szulc, “Rocky” decided to pay a visit.
“Sit, Rocky”.
He sat down.
“Foot, Rocky”.
He offered his foot.
Damned dog.
Now it is found out he also has a sense of humor.


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