Invoking is a word we use in our house to describe what a Laborador does when they want humans to do something. Labradors, at least in our house, pay attention to the dynamics. They understand who to “invoke” to get breakfast started. Sometimes it works; my wife doesn’t always understand when Raven is trying to invoke her. I have pointed it out to her a few times. Raven turns on the charm when she is citing people. If that doesn’t work, she usually quits and waits. But she will try for 10-15 minutes. I suspect most dogs and cats have similar behaviors. They, pets, respond to humans in their house. I guess it is because the pets that live with us are part of the family.
I know that Gwen did something similar, although Gwen was less tolerant of human’s being not as smart as she was. She would nip when she didn’t get her way. I still remember going outside because my daughter and her friend were playing the back yard, and Gwen was herding them. I would go out, get Gwen, and make her come inside. Then five minutes later, the girls would go, get Gwen and then yell. So I would go out there and sit. Now that I think about it, I wonder if the dog and the kids were training me. I would be outside in the back yard and push swings. I would listen to their stories and sit there on a chair and pet Gwen. Now that I think about it, I was being trained.
I know that Dylan has trained me. When he first came to live with us, I would watch sports in the living room. Relaxing on the couch with my shoes off (big mistake) when I yelled at the television (to convey my displeasure with the referees), Dyan would reach over and nip my feet. It tickled, he didn’t bite just nipped, and it ticked. I laughed and reached down to move him. One time, he was doing that, I was laughing, and my wife came in and praised him for nipping while I was yelling. I wear shoes when watching sports now. But, if games are on, and I yell, Dylan is there ready to wipe my feet. So, I don’t scream at the TV anymore. I’ve been trained.
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This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)