Grandma did NOT know what to do with me and my headstrong ways. She’s a solution-oriented person. If there’s a problem, she believes in finding an answer and moving on. Whining and complaining are not what she does, although venting to a friend in order to clear her mind is often necessary.
The first problem to be addressed was training me to obey her voice commands. She was sure I heard her- just look at my ears!
So establishing that she was the boss was very important. She wasn’t being mean. “It’s for your safety,” she assured me.
She took me to the park and walked me around on the leash. Finding a slight indention in the ground, she made me lie down in it, then she lay on top of me so I couldn’t get out. Her weight never touched me. It was to communicate that she had dominance over me. I squirmed trying to get out. Her head was tucked down as she talked to me. Finally, I gave up. I took a deep breath and got still. As she was telling me what I good boy I was, she heard a voice ask, “Are you okay?”
Grandma looked up, embarrassed. “Yes, I’m just training my dog.”
“Are you sure? We saw you laying on the ground here and were concerned.”
Just then, I poked my face out from under her and the couple squealed. “Oh, we didn’t know he was there!” They gave Grandma a look like she was squishing me, which would have been dog abuse.
Grandma explained, “I promise, my weight is not even touching him!” By now they were almost running to their car, looking over their shoulders at Grandma like she was a crazy woman. Grandma rolled over on her back and sighed.
“Petey, this is NOT working!”
I tried to snuggle with her as she drove us home.
“No,” she said, slowly shoving me over to the passenger seat. “Don’t even talk to me right now.”
So she got on the internet and googled “chicken killing dogs.” She believes in the wisdom of old-timers, and many of them suggested tying a dead chicken around the offending dog’s neck, let it spoil and create an aversion to chickens. Grandma wished she had saved one of my victims, but it was too late. Easter had passed, which meant the little biddies (baby chickens) sold at the local farm store were all gone.
“Where can I get a chicken?” she wondered.
By now, I was under constant surveillance, either:
Grandma called a friend who raised chickens. “Do you have a chicken you could spare?”
“I have to train Petey to not kill chickens and need a dead chicken to tie around his neck.”
“NO! My chickens are like my children. I’m not going to let you do that!”
Grandma got off the phone. “Great, Petey. Now I’ve offended my best friend.”
Grandma is good about giving second, third and even fourth chances if she thinks someone under her roof has a good heart and the only challenge is to bring him around to her way of thinking. She wasn’t quite ready to give up on me, but it was getting close…