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My human has been spending time with an Alternate Dog.  This dog is an Alternate Dog because she is by no means a Substitute – I am far too unique for there to be anything other than inferior copies and Alternate Dogs.  I have met this Alternate dog, and she is OLD.  When I met her I asked her if she wanted to play with me and she declined.  I was very put out, and tried to play with her anyway.  Then she got grumpy.  This is how I know she is old – young, sprightly, happy-go-lucky scamps such as myself do not get grumpy.  We have been known to sulk, and occasionally to be gruff, but never grumpy.

The problem with the time spent with this Alternate Dog is it means my Human is Very Far Away, and this I do not like.  I like it very much when she comes back, but not so much when she leaves and when she is not here.  I do not like this alternate dog, I suspect she is the reason for my Human’s prolonged absences.  They say it is something to do with her teeths, but I am dubious.  My teeths are just fine, and she is my Human, and my human and I have grown to be very much alike, and as such her teeths must also be fine.  There is absolutely no flaw to my logic on this point.

I have a new game I like to play with my Humans – I call it the ‘So Happy’ game.  Every time I was exuberantly happy, my Human would sing, “So happy, so happy!” to me.  And so, now when she sings “So Happy” I go from zero to bouncing with joy in a split second.  I do not think my Human realises just how easily I make associations.

I have also been spending a lot of time flolloping in the long grass in my outside (it needs to be Short Grass, say the Humans, but I like to pretend I am hunting through a Jungle for lost treasures, and so I think it needs to stay long).  This has led to me smelling not just like a Dog, but also like a Dog who has been rolling in grass.  My humans do not appreciate my entirely natural perfume, and I have an inkling that they are going to be pouring water on my head sometime soon.

Must dash – there is someone walking past the hoose and I must tell that person to Keep On Walking, Buddy.

theloldog: (Default)
I have many Ideas about what to post.  I expect I will be a prolific blogger.  In the future I will talk about the Alphabet and Helioparalysis, but today my topic is the game of Fetch.

Fetch is not as simple as the 'human throws, dog chases and brings back' paradigm.  There are many variants.  For instance, there is 'human throws, dog chases, dog fails to find, dog returns without' and its corollary, 'human throws, dog chases, dog fails to find, dog brings back something else'.  There is also 'human throws, dog chases and brings back but fails to surrender' - that is one of my favourite variants because it combines the game of Fetch with another favourite of mine, Tug-of-War (also known as 'Never Give Up, Never Surrender').  These variants on the game of Fetch are the ones I play when I am feeling Energetic.

When I am feeling Clever, the game of Fetch is played differently.  It goes something like this:

I sit on the couch with an item that I am allowed to chew or otherwise consume.  Using my paw or my nose, I throw the item off the couch.  I then look at the nearest human, and wait until the human understands that he or she must Fetch the item.  The human brings the item back, and then I might chew it for a while, or I might throw it again straight away.

This game is a perfect example of how Classical Conditioning can, in fact, work against a human.  I have learned that the human will pick up things for me if I drop them, and I am conditioning other humans to do the same.  It helps that I can look Adorable and Mournful on demand when I have, in fact, sneakily thrown the item rather than having it drop and become too difficult for me to reach.

Humans have discovered that Classical Conditioning is a very simple concept.  They have not, on the whole, realised that it is so simple that a small, funny lookin' dog can learn how to use it against them.

Humans can be obtuse sometimes.

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theloldog

March 2010

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Acknowledgement

Being a dog has its disadvantages. For instance, I have neither prehensile fingers nor opposeable thumbs. Because of this, this journal is ghost written by a human. She is my human, you can not have her.

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