There is one time of the day Cliff gets some attention, though. I get up early, could be any time from three to five AM because I'm naturally an early bird and love the quiet of early morning hours. Usually Gabe is ready to get up whenever I do, although when it's as early as three, he will sometimes choose to sleep another hour or so. I shut him in his kennel at night now, because a while back he had a couple of accidents near the front door. I guess he thought his sitting by the door like he does all day would work when I'm asleep, as though he could transmit his needs from the living room to my sleeping brain. When he's in the kennel, he will whine, on the rare occasion he needs to go out, or even yip a bit. I have said to Cliff, many times, "He isn't the brightest dog I've ever had."
I thought I'd never get him to bark when he's outside the door wanting in, but he's finally perfected that. However, for the life of me, the only way I can get him to bark when he wants OUT is to walk over in front of him where he stays in perfect "sit" position like a little soldier. I then repeat the word "Speak" over and over and over until finally he will bark (but first he will let out a little growl in his throat). I keep trying, but no results so far, unless I go through that ritual of saying "speak" until he gets tired of hearing it. You have to admire him for his skill at manipulating me to do things that make Cliff shake his head and sometimes snicker, of course. Gabe and I are always good for a laugh when I try to teach him anything.
Gabe sits beside me in the old recliner before and after he's had breakfast, while I'm cruising Facebook and playing Words With Friends. He eats at 4:30. Cliff usually has no reason to get up at a certain time, he simply doesn't like to sleep in, these days. If he lays in bed too long, his arthritic shoulder on one side and his arthritic hip on the other hurt him. So, at his request, I wake him at 7 AM. By this time I'm done drinking my three cups of coffee, so I make three cups fresh for him. Gabe knows my routine, and he has ideas of his own at this time of day.
I bought a package of well-made toys at Costco for Gabe. He isn't one to play with toys too much, but when he does, he can be rough on them, and these toys last. When he isn't playing with them, I toss them in his wire kennel, and he sleeps with them at night. Now, picture this: It's five minutes till seven and I see Gabe go right over to the bedroom door and sit. When he does, I know Cliff already got up, although how Gabe can hear him walking on a thick carpet, I have no idea. If one of his toys is available, he will have one in his mouth as he waits for the door to open, or else right beside him. If the toys are all in the kennel, which stands open all day after I turn Gabe loose, he will dart inside it and grab a toy as quick as a flash, like he's sneaking. This is an every-morning happening.
I have to take a minute to let you know as I was in here typing, Gabe actually went to the door and barked, with no coaching and without me even in the room!
Same routine, every single day.
By the way, here's a link to the Kinzenbaw website entry where they mentioned me and included a link back to my blog. Click HERE.