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Pet People

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Both human and pet training can be tricky

We humans are trained from the time we’re born — from potty training to job training. Then when we get pets and spouses, we train them — or should I say, we try to train them.

The other day The Boss was sprawled on the couch watching some 50-year-old Western he’s probably seen 20 times when I told him I was going to the store and asked if he wanted anything.No response.
Again I say, “I’m going to the store, do you want anything?”

Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m anything but soft-spoken. So I try again, much louder, “I’m going to the STORE. WANT ANYTHING?”
That finally snapped him out of his John Wayne-induced spell, and he says, “WHAT?” in that tone married people know all too well.

So while I’ve tried to train him over the years, he’s trained himself to ignore questions. The Boss hates questions of any kind, because to him, being asked a question is akin to being questioned, as if he’s being interrogated by police. If The Boss had been trying to call Scooter into the house and was ignored in triplicate, he’d have been livid.

I used to think men were more like dogs — and in many ways they are — but The Boss displays quite a bit of cat-like behavior. Often I’ll call the cats, but they usually ignore me as if they were struck deaf and blind. Sound familiar? Dogs, on the other hand, will snap to. In fact, my dogs follow me around just to make sure they don’t miss anything. Like food. When it comes to food, The Boss, again, is like a cat, especially in reaction to new dishes. One morning I was whipping up a never-before-made cheese and chive omelet. If it had been complete before he came into the kitchen, he’d have been fine, but he saw ingredients lying on the island — pepper jack cheese, eggs, milk, freshly snipped chives. He oogled every ingredient as if he were looking for arsenic, and says, “I don’t want any experiments.” Yep, just like a cat.

Cats, like spouses, are harder to train than dogs. In fact, most people don’t even bother trying to train a cat. But we all know Pet People person Skeeter has a cat Sheba, who learned a cute little trick from her husband, The Saint. He taught Sheba how to drink from the water spigot in the bathroom sink. But what he thought was amusing took an unintended turn. Skeeter posted about the incident:

“Well, last night he got a surprise. As she was drinking from the faucet, she switched sides of the sink and her butt was up against his toothbrush! I told him that she’d been brushing her butt with his toothbrush all along, and now he has cat-butt teeth! Thank goodness she doesn’t do that little trick on my sink! Or does she?”

Of course, my cooking isn’t the only thing that sends The Boss into alert mode. He’s also suspicious of my spending habits when it comes to animals. He’ll scan the checkbook, and if he sees a rescue in the register, he has to make a snide comment.

What every couple should do to avoid money arguments is to have one area where they’re free to have sole discretion. The Boss restores old cars, and he spends far more on his babies than I do on mine. The UPS guy is here so often the dogs don’t even bark at the truck anymore. I told him I won’t make a peep about what he spends on his car hobby, as long as he zips it shut when it comes to my animal spending. However, I hold up my end of the bargain much better than he does.

Here’s a tip for all pet-loving wives dealing with spouses who think you spend too much on animals. Always keep what used to be called “pin” money. I call my own stash “hide-away” money. You can save change (I always steal the Boss’s off the dresser) and cash it in a few times a year. Or write a check for a few bucks over the amount and stash the cash. Then when you want something he’ll think is too expensive, pay part with credit card or check and part in cash. See? It cost only $50. Says so right on the credit card bill.
It’s just all part of good training.

Any special tricks you have to train your other half, or your pets?

posted by Sandy at 9/25/2007 09:13:00 PM


Blogger B said...

The only process I have with the Klutz is to keep quiet and keep giving him rope--he'll hang himself eventually and then I have the God given right to say "i told ya so!" LOL
There are too many tricks and little things I share with the mutts. They are all such distinct personalities---what works for one never works for all. All I have to do is call Lucy to osmething--put my hands out to get Charlie to come- and wave my nose to get Hines interested. For some reason, that dog is obssesed with my snoz. He still to this day will kiss it all over and rub his snoot on mine. Funny-huh. I guess he's trying to kiss the boo-boo he gave me the first time I tried to hold him.HAHA

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

Larry, senior cat, drinks from the bathroom sink faucet, too, but he prefers the bathtub faucet. He perches on the edge of the bathtub rim and leans over and lciks the falling trickle of water when I turn it on just slightly. I always leave the bathroom light on too to remind me that the water is running. Our house is so dark that it's easy to see the ligt on. Usually after Larry leaves the bathtub, Herbie, the love bug cat, will jump into the tub and play with the water. I have intercepted the professor several times before he could turn the water on to full blast. The professor has a slightly tweaked sense of humor. It has only taken him a year to remember to drag the trash bin out to the curb. Plus, it costs extra if he forgets and we have to get a special pickup. He no longer leaves his socks lying about but he still peels them off into a little ball that I have to un-ball when I wash them. Next training... how to un-ball your own socks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Brett, that's it! Hines is constantly apologizing for his first meeting with your nose! LOL.

Laundry! That's another peeve. The Boss does the sock thing too, and everything is usually inside out, but he always leaves TISSUES in his pockets and that drives me nuts. You know what that's like if you wash one. He insists I check pockets before washing, I think he should check before putting them in the hamper.

Also, after 16 years of marriage, he still puts the toilet paper and paper towel with the sheets coming from the BOTTOM, not the TOP. It must be on the top! I know some people like it the other way, and that's fine in their house, but in my house, it's from the top, so I always end up changing it if he's the one putting the new roll on.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 1:36:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I will trade my two girls for that cat on the potty! Life would be so much better without cat litter…

Skeeter use to get into the bathtub to lick the water on the tub but only with the Saint. He knew that I never left one drop of water as I wipe the entire shower and tub down after each bath! He was so smart that he knew not to bother looking for water with me. Smart cat that boy…

I have spent a lot of time with the girls and they trained fairly easy. I guess being with them a lot during the day helped out. They do have their little quirks but don’t we all...

When I go to visit my parents, I sometimes slip into their bathroom and switch the direction of the toilet paper to aggravate my dad!

The Saint always has to be reminded to take the trash up the driveway! He always say, YES, I know today is trash day! In an arrogant tone but funny thing is, the days I don’t remind him, he forgets and has to walk the long driveway in the dark when I do remind him late in the evening!

I told the Saint from day one that I do not check in pockets before doing laundry! He learned that one really quickly. Every now and then I will find crumpled up paper and yesterday, I found two pennies in the washer! Why couldn’t it been two 100 dollar bills!

The Saint use to drop his towel just where ever and I put a stop to that one real quick! I told him that maybe his mother would pick up his towels in her house, but in our house, he will pick up his own dang towel.

Over all, the Saint is a pretty good guy but he does get a bit lazy if I let him. He likes to lay around and do nothing just like a cat!

I think the cats were easier to train then the Saint; They are scared of me and he aint!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 2:11:00 PM  
Blogger Guinevere said...

Sandy, what do you mean "if he's the one putting the new roll on"???? I wasn't aware that gene was in the male of the human species. I know damn sure it isn't in the Dragon species!

But, Sandy and Skeeter--you both are missing out BIG TIME with this refusal to go thru pockets. HELLOOOO!!!! This is how I get my mad money. Dragon is notorious for leaving greenbacks in his pockets. Usually ones, but every once in a while, I find a fiver! And there is a rule in my house: If it makes it to the dirty clothes, it belongs to ME. Period. Try it sometime.....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 2:32:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Oh no! Not the Hooters tip money! Or is it the dancing girls G-string money. Or do they call them thongs these days too....
Money falls out of the pockets in the washing machine or dryer, I get it when it is clean....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 6:33:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I only find money on the dresser, so I "dust" it off. The only thing I find in the washer is those dang tissues!

Scooter loves laundry, He steals something from the pile by the washer before I get it in. Usually a washcloth or dishrag,but the other day, he was tring to walk off with one of The Boss's sweaty shirts he'd been working on cars in. It was so funny, becuase he tried to hold his head high, but it was dragging on the floor and he kept stepping on it.

Now, if only I could combine the dogs' bad habit of stealing used tissues out of the garbage cans with the tissues in the pockets, I'd be set. They could get the tissues out before I throw the stuff in the machine!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 6:38:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I have been very lucky in the training department. The Foreman grew up with his mother who trained him very young. I refuse to clean out his pockets. He wants his laundry washed, he cleans out his pockets. I also wash ALL his laundry seperate from mine. I don't clean toilets and since the toilet is in the bathroom, I don't clean the bathroom either. The toilet paper MUST go over the top. I hate when it's underneith, you can't grab it. The Foreman also likes to cook, so I do very little cooking. He rarely complains when I buy stuff for the dogs as long as it's under $50. He will tune me out if he's into something on the tube or playing a stupid game. I HATE video games!!!!!! He's really good at tuning out the dogs when they are getting in trouble too.

The dogs know that 8 pm is dinner time and they will sit and stare at me until I get up and feed them. They have me trained in that area. Or running up and down the stairs when they want out. Mattie will get in the trash only when she feels neglected.

Sandy, The Foreman also has an expensive hobby of gun collecting and archery shooting. We used to have the same agreement about not saying anything, but it never applied to him. He always complains when I spend money on my art supplies. Men, what are we women to do?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 8:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tina Ramsey said...

Hi Sandy,
I wanted to post on your blog about my beloved pet BJ. BJ is a golden lab and we adopted him from animal control in August 2001 where David Selby was a big help then and still is. BJ was already neutered and housebroken. New Years Eve of that same year our heat pump went out and we had to call a repairman. When I let BJ in the repairman got such a start because he used to have a dog just like BJ. Come to find out that dog jumped out of his truck in Stewart County in August-the same month I adopted BJ. He was the previous owner of BJ and had had BJ neutered and still had BJ's sister! He brought BJ's sister over later. I asked him why he never claimed BJ and told him he could NOT have BJ back. He said that was fine and said he figured someone would find him. I am glad animal control 'found' him and I was able to bring him home.

BJ gardens with me everyday. He lives for a tennis ball and requests I throw the ball ALL the time. It gets really REALLY annoying when he drops the ball in the hole I am digging! I imagine there are half a dozen tennis balls buried in my garden under dirt, flowers and leaves!

Thursday, September 27, 2007 9:14:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Hello Tina! What a story! Small world indeed...
BJ dropping a ball in a hole ready for plants, made me laugh! I have a flower garden and could just imagine that scenario playing out if I had a dog! BJ sounds like a wonderful ball player. Our family dog growing up (Molly) was one heck of a ball player. I bet she and BJ would have had fun playing ball together!

Thursday, September 27, 2007 9:41:00 AM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

That is an amazing story, Tina! Another reason why dogs should be restrained in the back of trucks BUT how lucky BJ and your family were to find each other!

We have two ball-crazy dogs, as well. There are doggie balls of all kinds everywhere in this house!

BJ sounds like a great helper... it's always good to have protection from squirrels in the back yard too!

Thursday, September 27, 2007 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger B said...

ok--the cleaning the pocket thing? I have to make SURE that Jeremy doesn't leave two or three CHAPSTICKS in his pockets. Have you ever washed and DRIED chapstick? Its all over everthing! And there were two things I owuld exile from my life forever, it would be the NEVER ENDING dishes and laundry line

Thursday, September 27, 2007 4:53:00 PM  
Blogger k9rescue said...

I cry discrimination! Where is that ADORABLE picture of that little girl in the dog carrier that appeared in the Leaf with this blog?? That should be hear too, you know! (p.s. that little girl is my daughter... but she does THINK she's a dog... ask her preschool teacher!), so she deserves to be posted her. And, Aunt Sandy KNOWS that! Right, Aunt Sandy????

Thursday, September 27, 2007 5:08:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

First of all Amy, that was the cutest thing with your daughte in the dog carrier!How Dorable!
Skeeter, you would NOT trade your babies for one that is potty trained and you know it, you are lyin"!
B-Hines is making it up yo you for the nips in the beginning. He is just showing you some love!
Sandy, the Fly Boy does the same thing after 34 years of marrige. We have been over it many times about how he needs to put the toilet paper on the right way, over not under but als it still doesn't get done. But I am grateful when he actually puts it on noe so try not to complain too much. Guinevere, like Dragon, Fly Boy rarely puts the toilet paper on the roll. He'll get it out most times and set it beside the holder so--- when he puts it one the holder now I'm just thankful. Little steps as they say.
On the emptying pockets thing, he does pretty good but not always and I say Finders Keepers. I haven't found more than a dollar so far either but you never know what the future holds.
Tina, what a great story! But how wonderful that you rescued BJ! I too worry about dogs riding in the back of trucks like that. BJ doesn't have to worry about that now but what about his sister? Do they get to visit now?
And, B,I've had to get crayons out of clothes before so bet that is close to what you've had to put up with getting chap stick out. No fun!
Oh the drinking from the faucet, my Tiger loved doing that and he loved drinking from a glass as well. My Samantha and Cosette drank from the faucets too. My little one Penelope just likes to be around the water when it's running, she doesn't drink it but loves to hear it and watch it go down the drain. Weird huh? She has been known to sit and watch the sink for ten minutes or longer, it's funny.

Thursday, September 27, 2007 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

Hey all pet lovers. I could not imagine washing and drying clothes with two sticks of chapstick in the pocket! Yuck! Yes my little BJ is a great dog. He doesn't visit with his previous owner or his sister and that is fine. He now rides in the front of the truck on leather seats no less! He has matured so he would not run away. We adopted CeCe in 2003 after I got back from Iraq. I don't know why but I had this crazy desire to have two goldens. We got her from animal control and she must have been abused as she has no teeth (only canines) and is fearful of just about everything, but she is a very good dog and has been a great companion to my newly teenaged son. This blog is really great to talk about animals and you all seem to have so much fun!

Friday, September 28, 2007 3:20:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Welcome to the fold Tina!
We are a crazy bunch but harmless so join us in the fun.... You gotta watch out for the Dragon though. He may bite at times....

Friday, September 28, 2007 7:46:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Yes, Tina. Welcome. I have a brown thumb, so I don't think I'll be spending much time commenting on your blog. But I do like to read it. I loved the bowling balls!! Glad to hear you are a pet lover like us. You need to come to the Humane Society Wags to Witches Furr Ball and meet us all!! Skeeter is even coming in from Georgia.

Friday, September 28, 2007 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Amy, I posted my topic I had ready at work from home, because I forgot to post it at work, so I didn't have the picture here to upload. You know I'd never slight Emily!

Tina, your pets sound wonderful! I hope you come back often to chat, and all gardeners--check out Tina's gardening blog she just started! I know one topic she can discuss: pets digging UP gardens. LOL

Saturday, September 29, 2007 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger tina said...

Yes, I will definitely be discussing pets digging up gardens and EATING expensive plants! Don't think I will be at the ball but sure would love to meet skeeter and I enjoy reading about it in the newspaper.

Sunday, September 30, 2007 8:13:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Tina, we will indeed meet one day. The Saint has promised to get me home more often so we will meet at some point!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger B said...

Ok--I'm always the last to say "HI"-But Hello Tina and welcome to the nut house. Just pull up a chair and settle in. We can be scary, but we don't bite----------well, maybe Skeeter does.

Monday, October 01, 2007 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Now B, you know I dont bite...
I just laugh a lot and show my teeth... my corn teeth!

Monday, October 01, 2007 7:23:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

Corny--very corny

Tuesday, October 02, 2007 7:44:00 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...


You two are nuts......guess that must be why you fit in here so well, huh????

Tuesday, October 02, 2007 8:13:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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