April 13, 2010

Forgetful

Gretchen and I are having a debate. She says dogs are forgetful like humans and I say we are not. Yes, I agree that humans are forgetful. Sometimes Gretchen forgets her keys, sometimes she forgets to take out the garbage, and every once in awhile, she forgets that I need feeding.

She’s not a very forgetful person, but on occasion she can forget simple things and no matter how much I try to remind her, things just slip her mind.

Dogs do not forget. It’s simply impossible for us to forget. Here is my evidence:

The other day, when I had to go to the vet to get my vaccination, I walked behind Gretchen (I really don’t like going to the vet) through the front door. Well, the door closes quicker than most doors and I got caught in it. I yelped, Gretchen yelped (and apologized) and I was rescued. I saw the vet, I received my vaccination as well as got weighed AND have my temperature taken (yikes!) and then Gretchen paid before we left. We walked to the door. I refused to move forward. Gretchen remembered: “Oh the door! It’s okay, Rubin. I’ll make certain it doesn’t close on you.”

I did not forget about the quick closing door. Gretchen did.

Rosie, Gretchen’s first walk of the day, never forgets anything. This is probably why she is a bit skittish because she knows the sound of every truck means the ground will rumble, she knows the silhouette of a cat, and she knows that Gretchen’s left pocket contains treats.

The more Rosie gets to know Gretchen, the more she remembers all the commands Gretchen’s taught her. Lately, she’s been working on the “wait” or “stay” command so that Gretchen can step back and get photos of Rosie whether she’s standing above the park or in front of the beautiful spring flowers.

Rosie does not forget that she is always rewarded for sitting and staying.

When I was a puppy, a large dog at the off-leash park chased me so ferociously, I got scared. To this day I have not forgotten and when I see a big dog — especially one I do not know or who has black fur — I get very nervous. Well today, Gretchen informed me that I would be meeting Zoe — a large dog with black fur. “Rubin,” Gretchen said, “Don’t be afraid, okay? Zoe is as sweet as pie.”

But sometimes, because I always remember, it’s hard to forget. So when I first met Zoe I was scared. I whined and barked nervously. Zoe got excited and barked as well, but she wasn’t nervous. She just wanted to meet me and smell me. I’m not big on the smelling part. Well, not at first. I like to walk with a new dog first before I allow them to smell me, but Zoe is big and strong and yes, very kind and sweet, and she really wanted to smell me so I had to growl at her a bit.

Someone must have growled at Zoe before because she backed off and that made me like her instantly. I liked her all the more as we walked through her neighborhood and down to the big park where we sat obediently for photos.

For the first part of the journey, we walked on opposite sides of Gretchen, but on the way back from the park, we walked side by side.

See? I might not be able to forget about being attacked by a big black dog, but I at least remember that Zoe was not that dog.

And a new friend is something ALWAYS to remember.

Gemma never forgets the dog who lives on the corner, across from her house or the dog who lives on the other corner who barks from inside the house. Gemma never forgets about Tess the loud German Shepard who barks at us from behind the fence (and Gemma always barks back) and she never, ever forgets the route to Saber’s house.

Saber never forgets a routine. When Gretchen lets him out of his crate, he obediently sits by the door and waits for his collar and leash to get put on. He hates the nose collar he must wear (to keep him from pulling), but he never forgets to be a good boy and let Gretchen put it on him.

And neither of them forget the fun they have at the tennis courts.

I don’t either!

Playa has learned the sound of Gretchen’s car. Since she waits outside on nice days, when she hears Gretchen’s car pull up, she smiles big and wide. When Ollie knows Gretchen’s coming in the door, he bounces up like only Ollie can do. Neither of them can forget Gretchen and what she represents.

Of course, Doodles would like to forget all about going on a walk with Gretchen, but he can’t. He’s still pretty nervous (even though he wags his tail) about getting leashed up for a walk so today, he didn’t go with Ollie and Playa. Maybe he does forget how much fun he has on the walk?

Wait, I’m trying to prove that dogs don’t forget so I’m not going to explore that idea.

Ollie is another dog who doesn’t forget about the treats in Gretchen’s pocket and until today, Playa hasn’t shown the least bit interest in a treat.

Today, though, she was very interested and practiced sitting and waiting to earn said treats.

She also never forgets to pee. According to Gretchen, Playa pees a river every time they go on a walk. I tried to explain to Gretchen that it’s imperative for dogs to never forget to pee!

Now, I could list all the ways humans forget, but when Gretchen brought home this photo, I asked her what it was. “It’s a pea patch made under the power lines.”

“Why did you take a photo of it?” I asked.

“I just thought it was cool that people are using the land this way.”

Oh, I thought, that’s another thing people forget — they forget about the land and how important it is. They forget about the animals and how important they are. They forget about the water and how important it is. They forget about the beauty of nature.

Okay, not all the time, but we’re surprised by how many people forget that there are other things in life besides people. Gretchen says that’s one of the reasons she wants me to write this blog — to remind all the forgetful people that we exist.

You may ask yourself, “Hey, I thought you said dogs live in the now? How can they live in the now and never forget?

That’s a great question, but I’m going to end the blog for today and get back to that question perhaps tomorrow.

Unless I forget (tee hee!)

Until tomorrow,

Rubin

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