October 19, 2012
White Dog was ready to celebrate with the others until I uttered the challenge...no treats until you eat your dinner, Little One. Her head snapped up and she looked at me and I saw the flash in her eye...I knew that I had just drawn a line in the sand. (The Little White Dog of My Heart is sometimes a bit too much like me, stubborn and unbendable in a challenge). It was now no longer about the treat.
She pointedly stared at the two pieces of sweet potato Steve had waiting for her ("Eat your dinner, Siku.") and when he did not respond, she tapped his leg ("Eat your dinner, Siku."). She exaggerated her sniffing so he might get the hint. "Eat your dinner, Siku."
WD hopped up onto her chair and sniffed the bowl. "Eat your dinner, Siku." Steve placed one of the treats next to her bowl as an incentive. She leaned forward toward it. "Dinner first. Leave it!" WD knows well enough not to press LEAVE IT and I know few dogs who would have sighed and left the treat there. But she did. She tried all of her best guilt producing expressions. Steve was subjected to every manipulation she could think of...and her siblings at this point had gathered around to beg him to "just give it to her."
I thought for sure Steve would buckle but he didn't and White Dog stood up regally on her pillow and began eating. She stopped about halfway through and looked up wanting to negotiate.
"OK, let her have one, but she does not get the other until she finishes," I compromised hoping to provide an incentive and end the mounting stalemate. She argued with Steve; complained of being "full," whined, demanded, and moaned. By now we all had finished eating and had cleaned up.
"One last chance," I said. "Eat your dinner and you can have the treat. If you ignore me then I will put the treat up high until some other time." (YoYoMa and Puff came rushing over to claim it. "No, you have both had yours.") White Dog looked at the treat wantonly and then at her bowl. She thought for a moment and then turned to me with a demonic glare, hopped down and went behind the chair--sacrificing dinner and treat just to save face. That's my girl.