Willie Is Learning

No one likes a bragging parent.

And yet, that’s exactly where I’m going.

"Too smart for his own good" describes Willie, whose imaginary friend is in this mirror.

"Too smart for his own good" describes Willie, whose imaginary friend is in this mirror.

OK, I don’t suppose you can actually call it bragging, since I can’t take credit for anything I’m reporting today. Still, it doesn’t keep me from being a proud parent!

Last night I was sitting on the floor, eating my supper (it’s my usual location and posture). Willie was across the room and chewing on a rawhide stick, being peaceful and complacent and most un-Willie-like.

All of a sudden he jumped up like he’d been shot from a cannon, flew across the room and landed on the couch. His first time. For weeks he has jumped up at the edge of furniture, only to fall back onto the carpet.

Now, you might think he would land up there and be totally amazed at his success, or at least surprised that it happened.

Not Willie.

He just sat there on the couch cushion like that was something he does every single day. No big deal.

The other major accomplishment he had also occurred yesterday. Brenda purchased a device that looks like a simple ornament, but is actually a housetraining device for dogs. It is a strip of brightly-colored fabric, adorned with gold filaments along with several bells. The instructions say to place it by one’s door so that the dog can ring the bell to let you know he needs to go outside. Complying with the instructions we have rung the bell each time we exited the door for bathroom time, saying, “Let’s go out!” We proceed down the stairs to his exercise yard and praise him lavishly when he “goes.”

Yesterday Brenda called me in the middle of the day with a Willie update. At first I feared that something was wrong, but she reported, “Willie rang the bell!”

At first I couldn’t remember what bell we had that was within his reach, then it hit me.

“He rang the bell, then he sat by the back door, looking for me to take him outside. When we got to the yard, he ‘went’”

Hmmmm, my brain whirred. Coincidence? Accident? A repeat performance would be required to convince me.

Today we got a repeat performance! It seems our little boy is growing up. When he first came to our house he was only 2.25 pounds. Now he’s up to 3.3 pounds. He’s still little more than a handful to pick up.

We love him so much. He will never take the place of Peyton or Pearl, but he sure makes their loss easier to deal with.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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