Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat’s in the Middle …

…of our bushes, and I was the last to know. You can probably guess what happens next—a test of my theory about showing love to get a dog to come to you.

Rico-come

I quickly realized Rico and Roxy’s investigation entailed more than simply who had stopped by the house in our absence. I turned to drop my bags on the porch, and turned back around just in time to see Roxy vanish around the side of the house.

She and that cat shot out so fast, Rico didn’t even know the chase began. Poor guy was still fishing around the bushes.

At least he was easy to get into the house.

I went around back and called out …. no sound (thank heavens, because a screeching cat would have been bad).

Roooxeee!… no movement. Not even in the waist-high grasses and weeds of the easement about 100 feet away. That panicky, tingly feeling started creeping into my face and chest. I had to fight the image of the chase crossing the road.

Roooxeee, baby girl! … finally her head popped over shrubbery. She answered with a little “uh-oh” whimper. In all the excitement, she apparently didn’t realize she had crossed the ravine and didn’t want to wade through that mess to get back to me.

Even though she was a good 125-150 feet away, I decided not to move any closer. She needed to come to me.

Yeah, it was a gamble. But I guess the non-scared-shitless part of me knew she would obey.

I had to give another gooey, “come-here-baby” and kneel down with outstretched arms to convince her to forget about the cat, cross the frightening ravine, and come back to me. But she came running. And I threw my arms around her and rubbed her head to make sure she knew how pleased I was at what she just did – came when I called.

So, what did I learn?

  1. Love, cultivated in relationships over time, can indeed become more powerful than temptation.
  2. Whether I see anything or not, the second the dogs get excited is the very second I need to address it.
  3. Panic and anger only slow down the ability to react productively to a situation.
  4. We can never have a cat in Roxy’s lifetime.
  5. Rico might be the worst hunter ever.
Roxy slinking over tom e

Whether they slink or run like a bat out of hell, as long as they come when called, it’s a party.

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About Christie Green

A student of martial arts since 1995, a writer since 1999, and an animal-lover for all of time
This entry was posted in A Mindful Life with Dogs, Mindful Dog Training Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat’s in the Middle …

  1. Poor Rico missed all the fun! Love the story because it brings many a fond memory of a dog I once had about 6 years ago, a cat lover that discovered hugging them makes them run and that’s flat out fun! Can’t recall how many a time I finally had to relent and go get him.
    I’m glad Roxie listened. I’ve been blessed with one rescue that only knows how to do her own thing yet love, like you say does the most unlikely thing of all, changes the game. My Akita Asha is suddenly deciding to play games at midnight before going to bed. Ah, but the bribery is finally working. I can’t let her stay out because that was her worst fear when she came to me. Shadows spook her and she will bark all night long. Now that she’s content and happy she likes to mess with my head when I’m too tired. One night I finally had to let it rain, faking it with a water-blaster aimed up in the air. She wasn’t about to come. That she finally figured out wasn’t real rain. So I opted for serious TLC, the currency she has had with me from day one. Love and a little taste of something special seems to have fixed the problem. Merlin, my Siberian Husky is never a problem but like Roxie has a real sweet joy chasing the cats when he finds one. Now deer, that’s a whole different story. He will chase them 1/2 a block before coming back no matter what! They jump and it kicks his wild side in.
    BLESSINGS, Aashdoda

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