September 18, 2001
The Latest from the Boss
Oh---you probably thought that those people who can sign J.D. after their names ran the law firm, didn't you? Umm, no, the actual creature in charge is a Golden Retriever.
If I didn't know it before yesterday, you can believe I got the message shortly after I showed up to work. I was minding my business and giving Robbie the Golden some banana in Wendy's office. This was proceeding well until a bit of banana dropped. Robbie would not reach down for it (his head was much closer to the floor than my hand was); instead he looked up at me to see just what was making me wait to pick it up for him.
I am well trained, so I did indeed lean over, pick up the piece of banana, and present it to his nibs. Whereupon he ate it, out of my hand.
Now, of course, this is the dog who swears that he has never been fed in his whole entire life, all thirteen years of it. Never mind that I know from having fed him a few times myself that his proclamations are an exaggeration.
I also know that one of the attorneys is well trained, too. She brings a banana with her lunch most days, and shares it with Robbie. If she accidentally gets a late start on her meal, Robbie heads for her office to serve as a canine alarm clock. He doesn't bark at her. He just stands where she can't possibly miss seeing him. If that doesn't work well enough, he plops down in the floor beside her chair and pants a little, to make sure his presence is known.
You do know that Robbie is a large dog, right? Once he parks himself and pants at you, you know he's in the room.
By the way, we found out for sure yesterday afternoon late the best way to get Robbie up from his nap was to mention the word, "banana." One of the attorneys was on his way out the door, and asked if Robbie had enjoyed the banana at lunchtime. On hearing the word, Robbie woke right up and looked at the three people in the room. When he realized we weren't planning to give him any you-know-what, he went back to sleep.
Yes, all three of us humans filed the word away for use if we ever just have to motivate the dog.
Robbie has trained us well.