Day 295: Teaching An Old Dog A New Trick

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Can this old dog learn a new trick?

“Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails.” Max Eastman

We once had a good dog named Biscuit.  As time has gone on, she has lost some of her goodness.  We live on the second floor and she pretends to be in too much pain to climb the stairs.  As a result, she decided to quit going down the stairs to do her number one business since it takes so much effort to come back up.  Having used all of the tactics we used on our quite obedient children, we were not at all successful with our ten-year-old dog.

Last week we decided to have a new dog door installed so that at least she would go out the back door to do her number one business instead of going on the front porch.  This door is different from the last, allowing her to give a simple push since it’s only held down by a small magnet.  For the life of us, we still haven’t finished training her to go through the back door.  Instead, she stands in front of it, looks out, and barks.  We then come behind giving her a push and sending her on her way.  We’ve managed to avoid a swift kick in the bottom, though we’re coming closer to that option.

I'm sure she'll get it this time!

We’re sure that the passing of Biscuit is not too far in the future, but it would be nice if she could learn another trick before her passing in order to avoid an untimely one.

I suppose we should remember all of the joy she’s brought to our family. She welcomes our guests with love and care, barking only to announce their arrival.  If we’re in the house, she’ll bark if she knows we’ve seen her notice a cat.  Otherwise, I think she’s lost her desire to make an effort to bark, but she doesn’t want to lose face.  Above all, she announces when there is a storm on the horizon.  She runs in circles, pants loudly, shakes all over, and barks from time to time until it is over.  Though she’s brought a lot of love and laughter to our family, it still seems that she ought to learn a new trick to appease us.

In order to save you some pondering time, I’ll just let you know that the old idiom is true, “You can’t teach an old dog a new trick.”

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