Maybe you’re heard the expression “fraidy-cat.” Our cats aren’t afraid of anything, except maybe the vacuum cleaner.
My mom has been worried that I’m turning into a fraidy-dog. Here’s what happened. One day we went to Regrade Park, the off-leash park that’s just two blocks away from our new home. A big dog jumped on me. I demanded to leave. We did.
Then a few days later, the same dog was back … and the same thing happened. Now I hate going to the park.
Frankly, I haven’t been crazy about that park for awhile. I’m not as young as I used to be: I’ll be eight in just two months. That’s getting into senior dog status, my mom says. So I no longer want to jump around with a bunch of high-energy younger dogs. I like sitting on the wall and letting Lindsay, Sue, Andy, William or some of the other humans make a big fuss over me. On very rare occasions, my mom allows me to accept a treat. That’s even better.
But now I tug on the leash when we walk to the park. As soon as we get there, I head right to the exit with a purposeful expression.
“Oh no, Gracie! We just got here!” my mom says. “We have to de-sensitize you.”
For help she turned to Andy, who’s a professional dog trainer. He had a great idea. Treats. LOTS of treats. “Special treats just for the park!” he said.
“Liver bits?” my mom suggested.
Yaay. I love liver bits.
My mom is no dummy, although you might wonder at times. I get peanut butter only in the crate so I love my crate. If I get liver bits only in the park, she hopes I’ll learn to love the park. I’m not so sure.
After all, my mom isn’t a great example of bravery. She’s not crazy about water, heights, shaky bridges and a bunch of other things that she won’t let me share here. When she bought a house in Florida, she got Keesha because she didn’t want to be alone in the house with just two cats. Did I mention that she also had a perfectly functioning alarm system?
“If I get another house, I’ll need a second dog,” she tells me. “You’re not ferocious enough.”
My mom’s getting older, too. Unlike me, she refuses to admit it. Yesterday she dove right into a zumba class where she was probably the oldest person by twenty years. That’s the equivalent of me joining a pack of three-year-old feisty dogs and trying to keep up.
“Don’t tell George the Fitmonkey,” she told me as she limped out the door to take me on a walk. Her hips were sore from all those “swing your booty” moves.
“When I have to give up these gym classes, I’m giving you to Bill in New York and joining the great aerobics class in the sky.”
I could say a lot but I value my treats, not to mention my regular high-priced food and walks with Aunt Sara. So I’ll leave it to my followers to fill in the blanks.