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Life the Lisa Way

Living With Humans

July 19th 2007 6:36 pm
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My Girl tells me that I've been living with her and the other Humans for almost 12 years now. Did you know that's almost 84 years in dog years? It doesn't really make that much difference to me, but apparently that's a long time. So I thought since I've been doing this a long time I'd give the rest of y'all some advice.

First of all, it's important to remember to be patient with your humans. Positive reinforcement will go a lot further to training your humans and keeping them around than negative behavior. Try not to bite or injure your humans, no matter how frustrated you get. A lot of doggies lose their humans that way. It's much better if you reward your humans for good things they do than punish them for things they don't. Wag your tail a lot. If you don't have a tail, wag whatever's closest to where your tail should be. My Girl loves it when I give kisses, but not everyone does. But all my humans like it when I roll over and let them rub my tummy, so I try to give them as many opportunities to do that as I can.

Humans aren't built as well as we are. Notice how they only have two legs. They can't hear very well, they can't smell very well, and some of them can't see as well as some of us can, either. This is why humans don't understand as much about the world as we do. They don't, for example, know how to appreciate the delicate symphony of scents that a good pile of compost can lend to your usual doggy odor. And they can't hear all those suspicious noises that you can when you're out in the yard at night, which is why they don't seem to understand why you're warning those things to stay away. Instead of losing your temper, try to remember how difficult it must be to live like they do. It's important to be a gracious winner - it shows good character.

One of the most difficult things you'll have to learn to do is communicate with your humans. Our language is very hard for them to learn, so I suggest trying to learn as many of their words as possible. Where our language relies on complex physical cues, sights, smells, sounds, and energies, their language is mostly just barking. For all that their language is simple, do not try to speak it back to them. They will only laugh at your accent. They'll probably even get mad at you for trying (I think it makes them insecure when they find out their language isn't very impressive...humans are a prideful group). The best thing to do is just teach them what words to use when they talk to you. An important word to teach your humans is "Come." Whenever your human makes a sound that sounds like "Come", go straight up to them and wait for praise or even a treat. If they don't give it to you, don't respond to them for a while. Then when they start rewarding you, start going to them again. If you're really consistent with this, your humans will soon learn that "Come" means "Give the dog a treat!" There are all kinds of words you can teach your humans if you're consistent and willing to work with them.

If something is wrong, tell your human about it. Humans may be less evolved than we are, but they are usually taller and besides that they have something called Money which turns out to be really helpful. You'll find that if you just trust your human, they will let you know when you need to freak out (which isn't often). And they can usually get you out of just about any kind of trouble.

Above all else, remember to make your humans happy all the time. If you make your humans happy, chances are they will make you happy. And even if they don't, you will never be happy without happy humans. Silly as these humans are, they are extremely loveable. Give them a chance and you can have a friend for life. Even if a human has been mean to you or left you before, forgive them and try to trust your new humans. There's some good in most every human, and even if they don't know that themselves we dogs are very good at finding it (again, because we're smarter...not that I have a big head about it). Just love them, and hopefully they can learn to love you half as much.

Well, that's all the advice I've got right now. Have a great day and remember, they may be weird, but there's no better place to be in the world than wherever your humans are.


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