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