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September 2, 2020: A Conversation with Ryder

The following conversation took place as I was walking with Ryder and Shadow on the bench trail.

Alys: Ryder, come.
Ryder: Here I am, got a treat for me?
A: Here you go. And Shadow, here’s one for you.
R: Why did you give her a treat?
A: Because she came and sat down next to me.
R: But she jumped on you first.
A: I turned away from her and she sat down.
R: You are letting her get away with far more than you let me get away with.
A: Hey wait. I never, ever came home and found her lying on the table, like I did you – twice.

Ryder and Shadow

R: And I was severely reprimanded.
A: You don’t know what severely reprimanded means.
R: A loud voice, a lunge for the collar, that’s severely reprimand.
A: No, getting hit with a broomstick, that’s severely reprimanded.
R: Whatever.
A: You are acting like you are going to pack a lunch, put it in a bandana, tie it on the end of a stick and run away.
R: Is this wishful thinking?
A: Gosh no. Both Pete and I love you dearly.
R: And you love Shadow.
A: Yes.
R: Even though she gets excited and pees in the house.
A: Yes, even though she gets excited and pees in the house.
R: What are you going to do about this?
A: We are going to make sure she pees outside before coming inside.
R: Oh, good luck with that.
A: Do you have any ideas as to what we might do?
R: Yes, make sure she pees outside before coming inside.
A: That’s what I just said.
R: I said it also because I don’t think there is anything else you can do.
A: Well, she’s now pooping outside so we are making headway.
R: I suppose.
A: Are you still thinking that we should get rid of her?
R: This is not my decision.
A: You are hedging. Before you were adamant that we should send her back to her breeders.
R: It’s like this – the time she got lost. You and Pete came home that night – I have never seen you as upset as you were then. This made me feel really sad. And I thought, if Shadow isn’t found or is found dead, you will never again be the same. Are you following me?
A: Yes, I am.
R: I couldn’t handle this. So I took matters into my own paws. I decided to find her. Fortunately, you and I both had the same idea. If you’d left me home the morning of your resumed search, you would not have found her.
A: Perhaps true.
R: You did right by having me sniff her toy, then telling me search. I remembered what I was trained to do. Shadow’s scent was easy to find because she came back to where the car was. She was also still nearby. So I took you to the area where she was.
A: And we found her.
R: Yes, I found her. And you and Pete were once again happy. This was worth it to me. But what I then realized was that you could not get rid of her. So I’m now working hard to make her be a good companion.
A: And you are doing an excellent job.
R: Yes, I am.

Next: 243. 9/3/20: Attitude

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