Saturday, June 30, 2018

Toby Goes on Strike

Things are tough all over. First Janus, and now this. Yesterday Toby just sat down, a block away from my house, and said, "That's it. I'm sitting here, and I'm not moving. I don't care what you say and I don't care what you do."

Sometimes Toby sits because when I tell him to sit I'll often reward him. These days, he doesn't feel like waiting for me to tell him to do it, so he'll just does it himself. He's trying to train me to dispense doggie treats on demand. Desperate at his refusal to move, I gave in and tried to give him one. But he wasn't having it.

"You think you can buy me off this cheaply? What's that, one of those Milk Bone Minis? Not even bacon flavored? Forget it."

I don't really understand. Toby's from Puerto Rico, and it's pretty hot over there. Yet he just hates hot weather. I tried to negotiate with him. I offered him larger doggie biscuit rations. He was kind of interested, but when I told him he'd have to come a little more quickly when called, rather than sauntering over at his own speed, he wasn't having it.

"That's a giveback," he said. "No givebacks."

"No it isn't. We're negotiating. You want more doggie biscuits and I want you to come a little faster.

"I'll think about it," he said, and we kept going.

When we got to the boardwalk, we started doing the training thing, where I ask him to sit, down, and come.

"Sit," I said, and he did.

I left him there and walked away, as I'd done a million times before. When I turned around he was standing.

"I thought I told you to sit."

"Come on man, it's hot out here. Can't a guy just turn around and look at the ducks or the beach grass once in a while?"

"Yeah but you're supposed to come. That's when I can give you a treat."

"Listen," he said. "I don't negotiate in public. You're gonna have to take that up with the 400-member negotiating committee."

I was beginning to feel outmatched. 

We arrived at Nawlins on the canal, which happens to be a dog friendly restaurant, I said let's stop for lunch.

"What's on the menu?" he wanted to know.

I told him it was a cajun place, and that they had things like gumbo and catfish.

"Can I get Freshpet Tender Chicken with Vegetables and Brown Rice, with a large bowl of water on the side?"

"No Toby, I told you they sell cajun food. It's not like that."

"Forget it," he said. "Let's just rest here for a while."

I didn't understand why he couldn't move a few feet and let me sit on the bench, but that's how it was.

"Also," he said, "I demand that cousin Julio come over to visit more often. It's always fun when cousin Julio comes to visit. We hang out, and run around in circles like we're insane. Who could ask for more than that?"

"I don't know, Toby. Julio lives with my daughter. She works and can't just come over here any time you want her to."

"You better make it happen," said Toby. "You're lucky I let you walk me at all. There are gonna have to be some big changes around here, or I can't promise what's gonna happen."

He's a tough little guy. I'm gonna have to seriously hone my negotiating skills if I want a win here.
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