Thursday, December 27, 2007

You Can Do It Trooper

Seven-year-old Rachael and her buddy Trooper.

I just wrote about Stacie's neighborhood dogs and it reminded me of another story. Rachael, Hannah, Deborah and I spent a month with Stacie five years ago. Rachael was 7, Hannah 6. Stacie and Jimmy had just spent some pretty pennies on one of those underground electric fences to keep their Golden Retriever Trooper home. It was newly installed when we visited.

My girls are doggy lovers and thought it was great to be around all these sweet dogs. They also thought it was so cool that the dogs roamed free -- something they'd never seen before. It's a quiet street and they soon became accustomed to all the dogs, calling them by name and going for walks with them. All of them but Trooper. Poor Trooper had this new fence that kept him from leaving the yard.

Rachael and Hannah understood the concept of the fence to a degree, but they also thought if they were with Trooper it was okay for him to be out of the yard. One day Jimmy discovered why the fence wasn't keeping Trooper in like it was supposed to. He walked around the house and found Rachael and Hannah squatted in the street with doggy treats. As Trooper's collar beeped its warning not to go farther, Rachael and Hannah pleaded with him, "Come on Trooper. You can do it Boy." Then when he made the shock-filled little jump over the underground fence they rewarded him with doggy treats, lots of affection, and "Atta Boy, Trooper. Good Boy."

After having spent a small fortune on this fence, Uncle Jimmy wasn't impressed. I talked to the girls and they begrudgingly stopped begging Trooper to jump the fence.

Now Trooper is the only dog on the road that doesn't roam free. However he isn't lonely. The other dogs join him in his front yard and porch. It's just too cute.

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