About four months ago my husband and I sold our home and moved into an apartment.
The only problem was that our old house was the only home Pepper, our dog, had ever known. Which made me feel very, very guilty.
The biggest source of my guilt was that in our old home Pepper had her own door and could run outside and roll around in the grass whenever her furry little heart desired. And it desired it a lot. I’d often see her out there, digging in one spot, rolling in another, sniffing the air, and showing the squirrels silly enough to come into our yard who was boss.
In the apartment we rented we don’t have so much as a sliver of a balcony. The only time Pepper gets to raise that little nose and take in all the smells of the great outdoors is when we take her out on her leash. Her chances to dig, roll, sniff, or chase have been drastically curtailed.
So it’s not surprising that when she points those puppy dog eyes at me I feel a bit like a monster. Especially when she gives me that, “What did I do to you to make you lock me in jail?” look.
I now realize that over the past four months she’s used those eyes wisely. To train me.
First she melts my heart with sad eyes (negative feedback) when she wants a walk. Then, after she’s taken for one, she rewards me with happy eyes (positive feedback).
Standard training procedure.
She’s a smart dog. Smart enough that she now gets a couple of long walks and at least four short ones. So if you’re keeping count, that means she’s taken outside a minimum of six times each and every day.
Yes, my dog and her eyes have me trained well.
Very well indeed.