Dear Friends, Family, Fans and Abolish the Crate Federation Members,
Happy July 4th! Let freedom ring! (but no fireworks, please).
I overheard Grady explaining to Jones about the fourth of July holiday. Jones seemed particularly interested in the freedom aspect which didn’t surprise me as Jones is an independent kinda dog. He has no problems exploring on his own or entertaining himself. It’s a pretty cool personality trait except Jones believes that whatever he wants to do is okay.
Consequently, there are many, many, many times I disagree with his choices and often tell him so. I’m not convinced Jones is listening as he tends to scamper off after I’ve given my opinion and proceeds to do the very thing I told him not to do. It’s maddening.
I decided to interject myself into Grady and Jones’ conversation. This is mainly because Grady is a “live and let live” kind of dog so he’s not all that bothered by rule infractions and he tends to put a positive spin on things. I think you have to have rules otherwise there would be utter chaos and I simply cannot live with that.
Anyway, I wanted to be sure that Jones was getting accurate feedback about his choices so I got closer and closer until I was right there with them and could ease my way into the conversation. I must warn you I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix’s Longmire with Mom so my comments, although spot on, are more law and order than usual.
Grady: “Jones, tell me, what does freedom mean to you?”
Jones: “To me freedom is jumping on people and other dogs, uninvited.”
Grady: “Sure. It’s hard to keep four paws on the floor when one is excited.”
Me: “That’s assault.”
Jones: “Leaping on you, Grady, while you’re laying down.”
Grady: “You do that fairly often so I know you like it. You’re quite the leaper!”
Me: “That’s assault with intent to harm the elderly.”
Grady: “I’m not elderly!!!!”
Jones: “Nipping at Mom whenever I disagree with her.”
Grady: “Oh, dear. Not a good idea.”
Me: “That’s assault with the intent to do bodily harm.”
Jones: “Barking as loudly as I can while in the crate whenever I want something.”
Grady: “You do that exceptionally well!”
Me: “That would be disturbing the peace.”
Jones: “Being able to chew anything that I want that isn’t a chew toy.”
Grady: “I certainly understand that. There are lots of wonderful items to chew on!”
Me: “Seriously? That’s destruction of property.”
Grady: “Jones, while everything you said is very appealing, it has been my experience that the freedom to earn treats is really what it’s all about. I mean, the possibilities for treat consumption are endless!”
Jones: “I love treats!”
Grady: “And, since you are involved in a lot of training at this stage in your life, I would suggest you take full advantage of earning those treats. You can increase your daily treat consumption in several ways. One, do what you’re asked to do, when you’re asked to do it.”
Dawson: “It’s called obeying the law.”
Grady: “Two, offer good behavior seemingly out of the blue. A quick sit is often a surefire way of getting a treat.”
Jones: “Sitting is fun!”
Grady: “And, three, pretend you are struggling to figure something out and then do it. That often results in a jackpot of treats!”
Dawson: “That’s working the system.”
Jones: “Will do! Thanks, Grady!”
So the conversation ended. As I walked away, I had a sinking suspicion that nobody listened to a word I had to say. I thought maybe if I had treats to give them I might have stood a better chance of being heard.
Suddenly it hit me. It is entirely conceivable that Grady has the right idea.
Freedom = Treats!
There you have it. Chapter and verse.
Dawson Earnest Huntley
President & CEO
Abolish the Crate Federation