Becky Says...

June 2002

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June 26

One of the things that I love most about office dog Zoe is that she is strong-willed. That gives her a certain advantage when it comes to dealing with clients. She greets them with her head up and her tail wagging, with an air of "you must be wonderful people, you've come to see me!" I don't think the girl is afraid of anyone.

But sometimes my strong-willed canine friend transforms herself into a bull-headed bitch. And that was exactly what happened today. Zoe traditionally goes out to go potty at some point during the noon hour, before Wendy goes to lunch. That was on the verge of happening today when Wendy got a phone call she really needed to take. Zoe's leash was already clipped to her collar, and it was simple enough for me to take over. So out we went.

That's when the trouble started. Zoe has a usual route for this walk, and I was more than happy to follow it with her. But she decided to be stubborn. When we got to the place where she usually turns left and begins to look for her ideal space, she stopped. She looked around a bit, then turned us around and headed back toward the office. I thought she was looking for a spot closer to the parking lot, and was happy to oblige her.

Then she stopped on the walkway in front of the office and stood absolutely still in her tracks. She wouldn't go in any direction, no matter how many times I used the magic words ("Zoe, go potty like a good girl," in case you need to know this) or how hard I pulled on the lead.

It got worse. A friend from a neighboring law firm came out of her office and called to Zoe, saying, "Come here, Zoe," just once. Zoe went to her, dragging me in tow. Now, it isn't that I mind Zoe wanting to visit with her buddies. I do, however, mind her obeying someone else after defying me. This is not a good thing.

After the friend went back into her office, Zoe headed back toward ours, again parking herself firmly on the walkway as we neared the office. The usual routine is that after she's gone potty, she gets a rawhide chew. When I saw that she planned to stand her ground this time, I told her she would get no treat today. She finally did give up and go back in the office with me.

Wendy agreed that Zoe did not deserve a treat. Zoe alternated between pouting and looking ashamed of herself until later in the afternoon, at which time she decided that obeying her Aunt Becky would be the better plan of action.

Translation: after making nice with me, she got some of my lunch. Which did not, for the record, include rawhide chews.

Text copyright 2000-2002 Becky