Three little letters. S, I, and T. Put together they spell a powerful little word with a real depth of meaning.
Now, at first I didn’t think too much of it. “Sit, yah, yah, sit. I get it,” was pretty much the attitude I took when someone said it to me. “I get it,” I thought, “but I’ll do it if I feel like it, and when I feel like it, and there isn’t thing one you can do about it.”
But then today, Jay sat me down in the living room and spent a little time explaining it all.
“Rusty, old chum,” he said, “this is a pretty important lesson.” He adopted a punctilious air and positioned himself comfortably. “This one goes above and beyond the peeps and the poops, and the chewing and stuff. Those,” he said, “are niceties – important, but neither life-sustaining nor life-threatening.”
He shifted from one side to the other as he sat in front of me. He was sitting, cross-legged, on the living room floor, which was, of course, special to me in and of itself since I am seldom allowed on the carpet in the living room – let’s face it I am seldom allowed past the door of the kitchen unless I’m being carried!
“When we’re out for walkies,” he continued, “we have to go across roads. Roads are dangerous places, Rusty – cars all over the place, going too fast, tearing around corners like it’s a racetrack. If you were to cross the road without thinking about what you were doing, you might find yourself under the wheels of one of those silly cars! And you wouldn’t like that at all!.
“So we sit,” he continued, “to make sure that you give yourself time to look left and right and make sure it’s safe to cross the road.”
That’s when he started the training. He put a hand under my belly and hoisted me up, saying “Up-puppy!” then put a finger on my rump, just in front of my tail, and while saying “sit” he pushed downwards there. This pushing caused my rear legs to buckle and I found myself on my ass, waiting for the next instruction.
Of course, I thought this a great little game to play and I took all of his instructions as an invitation to nibble and fidget, but Jay was not deterred. “Up!” he said again and then “Sit!” and pushed with a finger on my rump.
We did this for about ten minutes. At the end I have to admit I was quite confused. So, I said, do you want me to sit, or stand? Ten minutes of “up, sit, up, sit, up, sit!” By the end of it I was almost getting a little “upsit” myself!
But you know, it all paid off in the end. Because tonight, on our walkies, I remembered the class, and when we came to a curb at every roadway and Jay said “sit” I – well, I knew exactly what to do! We actually walked further tonight than usual – we had to cross nine roads. I admit I was a little hesitant on the first two, but for the last seven just as soon as the word was said I was sitting.
I got so many kudos from the guys. Em couldn’t believe how well I was doing! He couldn’t believe that it only took one ten-minute training session to make such a difference. Of course, I told him how smart I am, and he nodded his head in complete agreement.
Anyway, I’m quite pleased with myself, and when we got home I demanded my little cheese cracker treats, and received them.
There was no argument, it was just the right thing to do.