I’ve discovered that Frankie has a pet name for me: She Who Must Obey Me. For obvious reasons.

The human behavior modification program has been going pretty well, from his perspective, but even a master trainer needs to refresh his skills periodically. I caught Frankie scribbling down these resolutions for the new year:

1. I will not bark urgently at the front door when I want more food. This has begun to blunt SWMOM’s response to one of my essential jobs: alerting her to the presence of the mail carrier and other intruders. I will work on my piteous whine — an unexplored area of vocalization that seems very promising — as a possible substitute.

I am capable of peeing in plain view. Sometimes I just prefer not to

2. I will not duck into the darkest corner of the yard at 5:30am when SWMOM is attempting to subject me to her strange urine collection ritual. She doesn’t like getting pee on her hands and, I believe,  gives me less food and/or deliberately makes my morning insulin injection pinch when this occurs.

3. I will, as she phrased it, “grow a pair” and go outside to pee before bedtime, even when it’s cold outside, in order not to have to wake SWMOM in the middle of the night to let me out. She is very grumpy all day when that occurs. Oh, wait, she has made growing a pair anatomically impossible. The hell with her. I’ll get her up when I need to go.

4 .  I will reserve standing up and putting my paws against her legs and staring into her eyes for indicating a single message: “Pay attention to me.” Being somewhat simple minded, SWMOM cannot distinguish between such subtleties as left paw forward (Don’t you think it’s time for dinner?) and right paw forward (Retrieve my squeaky chile!). I believe she’s getting too old to learn new tricks.

5.  I will lick her face more frequently so SWMOM will believe it’s a sign of affection rather than a means of discerning if her menu is properly balanced. She may otherwise start washing her face after meals instead of just performing the desultory napkin wipe or ineffective self-cleaning lip lick.


Remember: It’s just one week until the Pet Blogger Challenge!

27 thoughts on “Frankie’s New Year’s Resolutions”

  1. These are brilliant! My dog would probably have a thing or two to say about my rules as well, if I let her get a word in.

    Good luck to Frankie in keeping to his resolutions. 😉

  2. Glad you take this up Frankie, let us know if it worked. I have a SWDAD (Sad Wannabee DominAnt Dog) at home that is just as needy for some serious behavior modification!

    Here are my 2 cents, hope they can help you:
    1. Train the new sound at night, to test it’s effect properly
    2. Do it in daylight instead so she understands it is deliberate negative punishment
    3. Yes! Take no prisoners!
    4. Do you have a whine with a clicking sound? Trust me, it will even learn an old SWMOM new tricks. They are crazy with the clicking sound
    5. She will think it is a reward, make sure to have 1-4 covered

    Good luck!

    1. Frankie thanks Kenzo for all the ideas, especially the nighttime testing of the new sound, and appreciates the solidarity (#3). He’s not sure if he can click, but he’s going to try his darndest.

  3. dear frankie,

    my typist has been humming and hawing very hard for 2 minutes now. “grow a pair”??? hum. haw. i think maybe she’s got it now. the confusion could be because she always thought you were A Girl.

    have a GRRReat day, frankie!

    p.s. MY resolution for the year is to work even harder at manipulating the humans into making my life more comfortable and feeding me more.

    have a great day! 🙂 xox

    1. It sounds like you and Frankie are in agreement. I won’t tell him that you questioned his masculinity!

  4. OMD, Frankie knows how to work it, doesn’t he! Pefecting the whine…Tashi pulls that one out as a last resort – that’s after the silent stare doesn’t work, or the sentence-like grumbing, complete with areas of emphasis where the tone goes up and down has no effect, out comes the whine. This is a routine not for going out, but for attempting to speed up his dinner time. Sometimes wonder if dogs have a psychic link with one another!

    And I agree, Karen’s response is priceless:)))

  5. Edie these were GREAT!! The pee to check the insulin thing – been there and have had pee on my hands more times than I can count.

  6. I’m wondering when you’re going to start selling the SWMOM t-shirts and where I can get one. I think you’d have a big hit on your hands.

    And I bet John Mortimer would find the homage very funny.

    1. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll ask my pal Mary-Alice over at DogJaunt. She now has an e-store with Dog Jaunt logo-shirts and might be willing to branch out.

      Did you know that John Mortimer died last year (or was it the year before)… one of those deaths that slips under the radar? And thank you for noticing the reference (I’m now hearing my friend Clare, who I believed introduced me to the books, saying “I noticed too.” Of course you did, Clare, but you didn’t mention it). I think Mortimer might have enjoyed it too — when he was alive, of course.

      1. I didn’t realize John Mortimer had died. It certainly slipped under my radar.

        BTW, I had to appreciate the reference. Remember, I’m the girl who thought up Something Wagging This Way Comes just to find nearly no one gets the reference (you are one of a handful, thank you!).

        1. Maybe so, but we who get the references appreciate them all the more because it makes us part of a small, erudite club (I know, not much consolation when you want an accessible blog name). That reminds me, I emailed Mary-Alice of DogJaunt about those She Who Must Obey Met t-shirts but never heard back. Gotta go bug her!

  7. Frankie,

    May I suggest, if bed isn’t too high, is an icy nose on the exposed part of her arm. Another good trick is using the ear shake while beating your tail hard against a chair nightstand or window blinds, especially if SWMOM is a light sleeper. Hmmm…that last suggestion might not work for you of the perky ears and tall tail…

    I’ll try to think up some more suggestions to gettin’ her attention. Humans are slow learners and so stubborn. And they talk about us!

    Hawk aka BrownDog

    1. If you think I’m going to pass these messages along Hawk… I’ve banned Frankie from reading my blog as a result of this post and all the suggestions he’s getting.

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