Day 6 of 14
Since yesterday’s ham yielded such an immediate and positive reaction from Tucker, I decided to use it again as a decoy for his pill. I neatly packaged the pill in a slice, handed it to Tucker, who took it, dropped it, sniffed it and looked up at me as if to say, “Nice try.”
No coaxing, cajoling or bartering would get Tucker to eat the ham. In fact, Tucker wouldn’t eat peanut butter, bread, pizza, yogurt, or ice cream. I offered him a virtual smorgasbord of foods and he wasn’t having any of it. I was at my wit’s end.
Then I did something I thought I’d never do.
With lightening speed, I grabbed Tucker’s muzzle. With an even faster reaction, Tucker clamped his mouth shut so tightly that it reminded me that I needed to purchase some superglue for a project I was working on. Carefully I applied pressure to Tucker’s jaw and somehow I managed to get the pill in his mouth. I held his mouth closed, rubbed his nose dry and stroked his throat. Low and behold, Tucker swallowed the pill.
Now I’m not proud that I had to resort to the use of force. As a psychologist I know that it is better if you can get cooperation when people (or dogs) believe they have freely chosen to participate. After all, nobody really likes to be forced to do something and Tucker’s no different. He can be a rebel with a really good memory for injustice so I wondered how this would affect him.
I let go of Tucker and we both stood up. Tucker gave me a look and I silently agreed that what just happened, never happened. We then proceeded to walk quietly away from the scene of the incident, in opposite directions, each with our own thoughts.
Perhaps Tucker was wondering what was going to happen tomorrow.
I know I was.