Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I mentioned that to Zoe, ball was love. To that end she would play ball all day, devising new ways to work with the ball. We played "Monkey in the Middle" and puppy was the monkey and she adored the game. She would grow angry after awhile if no one dropped the ball and we always complied to keep her in the game.
I began using her ball to practice golf shots. I would hit the ball with the club and she would chase after the ball retrieving it and dropping it by the club, then sit on her haunches ready to spring into action again to get the ball. This would continue until I was tired. She never tired of ball.
While the toy was all consuming in her world, I had other chores to do and Zoe would have none of that. She would follow me around with ball, placing it at my feet. One day, I learned the magic word for puppy - "Enough!" The mere mention of the word and the ball dropped from her mouth and onto the floor. She would then go onto her bed and lie down. All in one fell swoop.
I did not teach her the word. Her reaction was spontaneous and ingrained. Someone else had taught her the command and I just stumbled upon the key. It was the first of many commands that she knew before coming to live in my home.