Daniel Menaker

Tricks and Treats

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Maxwell does the following tricks on command: sits, lies down, crosses one paw over the other (“Cross your paws”) (this is my own genius idea, though I’m sure millions of other masters–that is, servants–have had same idea), goes around you in a circle to the right, goes around you in a circle to the left, shakes hands wth his right paw, jumps the gun and offers his left paw unbidden unless you caution him not to, which he obeys in an obviously exasperated or forbearing way, rolls over, puts his front paws up on an arm held parallel to the floor and gets a treat over the arm and then gets one under it when you say “over” and “under” in that order and will even do it in reverse order, goes through between your legs and comes back through them and turns in place 360 degrees, stands on his hind legs and pirouettes 360 degrees.
He could learn more tricks, I’m sure, but I figure that as I am who I am if not past it at 75, Maxwell is who he is at 7X7=49 and deserves the respect of his maturity and shoud not be sent back to circus school. I do wish he would come whenever he is told to instead of just as a velleity. We have bought gourmet “training treats” as an inducement to obey the command “Maxwell, come!” every time. But if there is some vile, dead animal in the woods that he feels required to roll and get stinky in, or a UPS guy whom he sees as an intruder to be deafened with barking, forget it, Zuke’s Roasted Pork Recipe Mini Naturals and Cloud Star’s Tricky Trainer Chewy Liver Flavor Wheat- and Corn-Free Training Treats notwithstanding. Zuke is evidently a paradigm of obedience in Durango, Colorado–who, according to the packaging, “sits, stays, and focuses–ready to learn or just enjoy a healthy treat for being such a good boy.”
Well, you go, Zuke. Maxwell will be too busy dirt-swimming with his two front paws after a mole who just scooted under the stone bench in our yard.
For all these complaints and even though I am foregoing most further trick tutelage, I am–as you might guess from this and other efforts at literary Maxwelliana–hoping that he will do one more thing I find myself silently asking him to do. And that is to let me Lie Down for good before he does
Stay, Max!

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