When I was little, there’s no doubt Grandma had her hands full with me. Finally, she said, “Let’s talk Turkey.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“It’s when two individuals talk plainly to each other, straightforward, so there’s no misunderstanding.”
The tone of her voice did not indicate I would come out winning on the other side, but I had learned to cooperate with her just enough to keep her in the game.
“Ok,” I said.
“When I’m trying to train you to come to my voice, to listen to my voice and do what I say, I’m not trying to be bossy just to be bossy. Instead, I’m watching out for you.
“But I want to be the boss!” I argued.
“Believe me,” she said. “I’ve known that since the first time I put the leash on you.”
She continued, “You have had many near misses and all I think about is trying to protect you. When I’m chasing you down the street or looking for you, that takes away from our play time.”
Now I was listening.
“You ran off when there was a cougar down the street. You dash into the street and have almost been run over by a car. Another time you took off and someone tried to kidnap you. I got there just in time. And the bird thing- do you know that around here, they shoot dogs that kill chickens? Does this sound like fun to you?”
Grandma has often said I’m a Thinker. She’s seen wheels turning behind my eyes as I contemplate my next action. She sat quietly as I pondered her words.
“All I want to do is have fun,” I said. My ears were laid back in a soft way, and she knew she had made her point.
“I want to have fun with you, too, instead of yelling at you and chasing you,” she said.
“What do you want me to do?”
“Mind me, that’s all. When I say ‘Come,’ then come. When I say ‘No,” then stop. It really isn’t that hard.”
Actually, she has no idea how hard that is for me. But I could tell all she wanted was enjoy me.
She was wiping tears from her eyes. I could tell she was tired.
My blog is called the Perils of Petey Podengo. I’ve climbed up mountains. I’ve walked the edges of cliffs. I’ve swam in rushing rivers… But nothing, nothing puts me in peril like Grandma being upset with me and talking nice about it.
I put my paw on her leg and she lifted me onto her lap.
“I love you, Grandma. I’ll try to do better.”
“I love you, too, Petey. I’ll try to do better, too.”
It took some practice for both of us, but I’m much better at listening to her. It took a flock of wild turkeys to prove it.
Grandma videoed what happened. She’s so proud of me, and says quite often that I’m a good boy. Click here for the YouTube video.
(And try not to laugh at Grandma clucking…)