posttrib
PICTURESQUE 
Weather Updates

‘Talk to the Paw’ dog trick has owner seeing stars

storyidforme: 44553973
tmspicid: 833476
fileheaderid: 613589

As a way of frittering away the long, cold nights of winter, I decided I would teach Issy the Terrible (my terrier) some new tricks. She made no pretense that her preference was to lie on the couch, curled up on a blanket, but after some coaxing with the new training treats, she decided she’d be a sport and play along.

So, the first one we’ve been working on is called “Talk to the Paw.” When I say the phrase, she’s supposed to place her paw gently on my nose. We started to practice. I provided lots of positive reinforcement. She earned a treat or two. Then she rolled over on her back, legs straight in the air and turned her head. Obviously, I was boring her.

I persisted. Depending on Issy’s mood, sometimes I will get a half-hearted lift of the paw; most often I don’t. Then the other night, I realized the beast is smarter than she might appear. Talking to a long-distance friend, Issy climbed up on my lap — all 60 pounds of her. Not wanting to shout in my friend’s ear, I tried to talk around her hulk.

When it became apparent I was paying more attention to the phone than the dog, I got a stare, whine, a nudge. It’s not easy to ignore a massive animal sitting on your lap. Then I saw it out of the corner of my eye; here came the paw. She was talking to the paw all right. I got a hard smack directly on the nose that made me see stars! And, she seemed very smug about it.

I guess we’ll start working on a different trick.

Here are some bits and pieces from my in-box.

Marv and Joyce Felder, Munster, recently returned from a surprise trip to the Virgin Islands, compliments of their three children — Karen, Susan and Steve. The Felders never went on a honeymoon when they married.

“We always meant to do something special but time got away from us when we got busy with the kids,” Joyce explained. This year, for their 40th, the Felder kids decided it was time.

“I guess they thought they’d better do it now while we were still healthy enough to enjoy it,” Marv laughed. “They were right. We had a wonderful time.”

Becky Marsden, Schererville, shared this funny story about her 8-year-old grandson, Cameron.

It seems Becky’s daughter and son-in-law were having a mild argument at the dining table one night. Cameron sat by, quietly eating his food.

At one point, Becky’s daughter looked at Ethan’s dad and asked, “Do I look like I’m stupid?”

Ethan jumped up and cried, “Don’t answer that dad! It’s a trick question.”

OK guys, it’s Valentine’s Day. If you’ve run out of time or finances, here are five last-minute suggestions from the ladies.

■ Draw her close, look her in the eyes and tell her you love her with feeling.

■ Let her control the remote tonight.

■ Turn off the television, put on some romantic music and dance.

■ Sit down with a glass of wine (or pop) and recall how you felt the moment you realized you loved her.

■ Design your own personalized card.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.