While taking our afternoon walk in the park yesterday, Minnie and I were approached by a girl who looked to be about 9 years old and an older man, presumably her father.
I took my earbuds out of my ears to be able to hear them speak. Here in the 21st Century, living in a city, I’ve become dubious about being approached by strangers. When a stranger approaches me – even a sweet-looking little girl – I start from a position of wariness. I assume they want me to buy something, generally something of questionable value or else why would they be selling it on the street? Or they’re panhandling. Or they want to convert me to something.
But this little girl said, all in a burst by rote without leaving space between words, that she was doing a school science project in whether dogs are left handed or right handed and did my dog sit and give paw on command?
Well, Minnie sits on command most of the time. Sometimes she sits when she wants something from us, because she’s figured that sometimes sitting is how to get what she wants. Other times she ignores us. And we’ve never tried give-paw on command because we’ve never had to. Minnie was an early and enthusiastic paw-giver and she’s just stayed with it. We’ve never been able to figure out why she seems to enjoy giving paw so much. If giving paw ever becomes an event in the Westminster Dog Show, bet on Minnie. You’ll clean up.
While I attempted to stammer out this complex explanation the little girl said, no, dogs participating in the study have to be able to give paw on command.
B-b-b-b-ut, I said.
No. On command.
And she hardened her face and she and the man turned away.