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Old dogs and new tricks

My two little dogs are both smarter than I realize, easily manipulating my bride and I into getting whatever they want. She taught them both to high-five about 6 years ago and that was enough to get a treat every time and still works today. My 8 pound shih tzu will sit and stare at me until I look away and then for some reason, I’ll give her a treat. My Pomeranian/Pappillon mix will approach my chair and begin this chuffing and moaning sound, signaling she wants outside, simply so she can check the smells and I obediently open the door for her.

She rushes out barking and this causes my shih tzu to excitedly follow her, barking like they have a major announcement. Once outside a serious amount of sniffing goes on before they find that perfect spot to tinkle. The shih tzu at this time will sit down on the far side of the yard and stare at me.  The Pom/Pap goes into investigative mode for 5 minutes, finding nothing that I can see or smell and only the word “treat” gets them back inside.

Twice a day, Bella (Pom mix) takes anti-seizure medicine which I administer in a small blob of peanut butter.  I shake the pill bottle and wherever she is in the house, she comes running to this preconditioned sound.  Coca (shih tzu) will magically appear on the back of the couch 10 feet away and I have to bring her a sample of the magic goo. She swallows the blob quickly, so she can lick my finger. The finger remnant appears to be more important than the blob for some reason.

Come feeding time, the routine doesn’t vary or the shih tzu goes on a literal hunger strike. I mix a small amount of soft food with the high dollar dry food I buy at the Pet store. If I run out of the soft food, forget it. Bella will eat whatever and is never in a hurry. To me, she acts like a dog. Coco however is a curious mix of rabbit, cat, dog, and female something. She wants what she wants, when she wants it, or no dice buddy. No soft food? No problem. She won’t eat.
Their routine is important to them and Bella just turned 7 and Coco is a year older. I’m not sure they will learn or want to learn anything new. In so many ways, we are the same way. I know I have to fight the urge to stick with what I know, instead of thinking progressively. I imagine you feel the same way.

Now I repair computers, sweeping viruses, etc. off of them and that technological field changes constantly. I am forced to keep up with it and it amazes me how complicated it all has become. If I had to start right now learning what I know, the task would be overwhelming and “pert near” unattainable. This progressive technology has been good for me, as it carries over into other parts of my life and has kept me from falling into the rut of only knowing what I already know.

I have forced myself to read so many technical manuals that almost anything new, is just one more study to know it. Take for instance that new vehicle you bought with 400+ whiz-bang gizmo programmable dealies on the dashboard. How many of us will learn and actually use a quarter of those things? Most of us will not, but I know I will. I’ll fiddle with it until I am like a jet pilot, because I am that curious. I want to know how they work and then use them.

We recently bought a high-tech washing machine.  My bride stared at it like it was a copper-headed cobra moccasin. I was like “Cool!”. I am still discovering things it will do and when all else fails, I’ll read the manual to see where they screwed up.  Most likely none of us read the manual and utilize the product by trial and error. We figure we will read it later, but that is the epitome of “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.”

The reason we can’t learn is because we don’t want to. Wow! What an epiphany! “Waa, I can’t get this to work, Bert! My PC is going crazy!”

“Did you do research and reboot and then run the anti-virus software I told you to run once a week?”  (Silence)

“Uh, I’ll get back with you.” The next day, I hear from them. “Hey, this is (insert name here) It is working! I don’t know what I did.” My answer is always the same and I tell them they are now computer repairmen. Note: This is not in reference to Royce Owens. LOL Progressive learning is like walking up hill. It is determination and work and that is why it is so easy to just stick with what we know.


Anonymous said…
SW: Guess I'm an old dog. When my iPhone or laptop go crazy, I assume fetal position and pray.
Anonymous said…
Good story. I chose college courses as a type of progressive learning when my job was not challenging me. Senior citizens can protect their independence by keeping an active mind.
Anonymous said…
Barbara Rhoden Pugh: I truly believe we don't train dogs...they train us. So I guess they fully contradict what you say....cause it looks like they can teach old.dogs new tricks

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