Chloë Develops a Plan to End Gridlock

My relationship with Mike is clear: I am the alpha dog. When I’m alone with Mike, he does what I tell him, most of the time. If I give him the slip to chase cats or rabbits, as I did to him again just the other day, when I finally come back he’s relieved, and I never get into serious trouble.

Chloë flops on the trail

Chloë does the Dachshund Plant

With Heather, it’s another matter entirely. Heather makes me work. Last week when I ran away from her to chase a rabbit, she got so mad at me that she wouldn’t even look at me for a day and a half. I got worried. She finally relented, and we are on good terms again. A few days ago I took off on her again at the top of the parade ground and headed for Bunny Central, but when Heather let loose a commanding “Treat Party!!” yell, I stopped in my tracks, pirouetted and sped back to her at full throttle. Even passersby were impressed.

Reaching detente

Reaching detente

Heather still  tries to keep me on a short leash, but sometimes I  am obliged to play the stubborn dachshund. I sometimes do what she calls the Dachshund Plant, flopping down right in the middle of a trail, and pausing to survey the landscape for as long as I damn well please. When I feel a tug on my leash, Heather and I stare at each other. I want to go in one direction, she wants me to go in another. We negotiate. Or sometimes when I want 20 throws of my purple-and-white ball, and Heather only wants to do 10. We compromise on doing 15. Or I want two Charlee Bears and a salmon heart cracker every time I come, and no matter how long it takes. Heather wants to cut spending after two whistles. We work it out. Sometimes she wins. Sometimes I win. Sometimes we walk in my direction, sometimes in hers. One day I may get as many treats as I want. Keep hope alive.

End of the line

End of the line

Heather said our relationship should be a model for ending the gridlock in “the other Washington.” (Having never left this state, it’s hard for me to fathom any other Washington than this one.) Cooperate. Compromise. Work together. Take turns.  Get somewhere. Whatever Heather said, I’m on board. I’m just glad she’s not mad at me anymore, so I’ll agree with anything.

Thanks for understanding. In our next episode, Heather and I solve the perpetual puzzle of peace in the Middle East.

Waiting to play catch

On a peacekeeping mission

 

 

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One response to “Chloë Develops a Plan to End Gridlock

  1. Whew – I have not experienced the “take-off” at Bunny Central – but I also do not let the girl off the leash. I am still very impressed with the early learned and always effective “Treat Party.” Excellent skill for both dog and human. That has been a successful return method on the occasion when she does the “take-off” out the front door for Kitty Central. I do also know the stare where you can see the mental negotiations in action. I lean toward a variation on the Heather method of not making eye contact. That always gets the girl’s attention and usually a compromise. Cheers to more great times. Glad to hear you are exploring the application of your peacekeeping skills. The other Washington – and the world, too – could use you!

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