My friends, Jack and Steve, have gone on a ski vacation for a few days so I'm doggie-sitting for Portia. For those of you who don't know, Portia is The Most Wonderful Dog in the Universe and I've doggie-sat for her many times during the past six years.
You should have seen the sad, pitiful look on Portia's face as Jack and Steve were packing and getting ready to go to the airport. She knew that suitcases meant going-away behavior that did not involve her. Oh, the drama! It was the saddest thing you'd ever want to see.
Portia loves raw carrots and would get a sliced up carrot every night as a treat. It would, of course, involve tossing the carrot slices across the room for her to catch in her mouth. Such fun.
Now Portia is older and the raw carrots are a bit hard to digest. She also has a bit of arthritis, too, so the daily dose of carrots have given way to a nightly Miller-Lite. Yes, the dog has a beer every night. Don't worry, Steve is a veterinarian and knows what he's doing. Anyway, she loves it.
She also has to take her medication in the morning which, of course, gets put into a tasty treat. For the morning treat, she gets a spoonful of peanut butter into which her meds are cleverly hidden.
The treat routine always begins with the phrase, "Are you a good dog?"
She knows that phrase implicitly. You can be talking to someone else and work in that phrase into a conversation in the same tone of voice and she'll respond. It goes something like this:
"Are you a good dog?"
She wakes up and scrambles to her feet. Tail wags.
"What do good dogs get?"
She begins bounding up and down. Tail wags really hard.
"Do good dogs get treats?"
I then go into the kitchen for either the peanut butter or the beer while she waits ever-so patiently outside the kitchen door. (Good dogs aren't allowed in the kitchen, you know.)
We go for a walk to a nearby park twice a day for "business." It's very important to poop-scoop right away with Portia. Not because it's the right thing to do, but because she has a proclivity for eating her droppings! Which is gross. I've seen her do it when I'd been a little tardy with the plastic bag. Ya gotta be quick with this dog.
She also learned to play the piano. I had her for two weeks a while back and taught her to play. Of course, the lessons involved lots of treats.
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