Sunday, March 10, 2013

Negotiating: we're doing it right

Our new V-E-T, Dr. Zheng, sold me some expensive glucosamine cookies for Her Majesty's arthritis. "They're liver-flavoured," he said. "Dogs love them."


Her Majesty is not "dogs". She is Her Majesty. And she does NOT, as a rule, like dog biscuits. So sure enough, she didn't want the expensive glucosamine cookies. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh! I mean, bad enough that they cost a fortune, but I really want her to not be in pain. Sigh...

After several days of her refusing to eat the glucosamine cookies, I hit upon a potentially brilliant idea. Here in Winnipeg, I've found a brand of cookies that she does like. I call them "wolf cookies" because I can't remember the brand, I'm too lazy to look it up, and they have a picture of a wolf on the packaging. Cause allegedly they're made of what wolves would eat in the wild... or more accurately, they're made of what romantic city folk imagine a wolf would eat in the wild. But the important thing is, they cost a fortune too, and Her Majesty loves them. She's a dog of taste and wealth... at least she assumes the wealth is there. Cause she can't read my bank statement. But oh well.

So anyway, I took a wolf cookie and a glucosamine cookie, held them both in my hand, and offered them to Her Majesty, but with my thumb on the wolf cookie so she couldn't take it from me. Which she tried many, many times, of course. And every time I would move my hand to put the glucosamine under her nose instead of the wolf cookie. So finally she ate the glucosamine, and then I gave her the wolf cookie.

OMG I can't believe it worked!!!!!!

Totally. And I repeated this success every day thereafter. Which shows that a) she understood that I was offering the wolf cookie as a reward if she did something for me, i.e. eat the glucosamine cookie; and b) she was actually willing to compromise. Victory!

But then yesterday, I had been unpacking a box of stuff, and I stopped to give her her glucosamine. But she hates it when I move things around, so she wouldn't come into the room to eat her cookies. Oh well. I have things to do. I put both cookies on the floor and went back to unpacking. And while I wasn't looking, she crept silently (probably not, we have laminate floors and her nails click like mad) up behind me and ate... the wolf cookie.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh!!!!! You treacherous animal! You KNEW you're supposed to eat the glucosamine! Woe is me!

Ok, so I took out another wolf cookie, and offered her the glucosamine. And she ate the glucosamine and... didn't eat the wolf cookie.


See what she did there? She did her part of the deal even though she already had her reward. She has a sense of owing me something! After all these years she finally feels like she ought to do something for me once in a while!

I love you, little mutt. I really do. Please don't ever die.

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