Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sitting Comes With a Price Tag

After being very impressed with Alvin's ability to sit nearly immediately on command, I decided to up the ante and see if he could do it without a treat being held over his head.  I had grown increasingly optimistic because last night I took him to my mom's house and asked him to sit while holding a piece of cheese.  With his dependence on everything remaining the same, I was doubtful that he would know to sit in a different environment.  He sat immediately and my mom and I cheered for him, while he looked pleadingly for the darn piece of cheese.  So, coming off of that victory, I thought we could really go for it!  I knew it would be a challenge but I thought it might be possible.  Keep in mind, that if I hold my hand slightly different than usual, it tends to confuse him and he has a hard time sitting.  So, I placed my hands at my side and asked him to sit.  Apparently, if my hands are at my side, the word sounds utterly unrecognizable because he clearly had no idea what I was asking.  He looked up at me with those confused, pleading, big as saucers eye balls, and had no idea what to do.  I repeatedly asked him to sit and he finally did a half sit.  I celebrated by squealing with delight and then without thinking, I attempted to pet him.  He jumped away while momentarily searching for the treat and then went into a circling parade through the living room.  But even in the face of utter defeat, I did not give up.  When he would circle back around, I would ask him to sit and he responded by circling tighter and faster until he was in his full blown whirly twirls, as I like to call them.  They resemble the cartoon characters when they have them spinning around so fast that the character becomes a blur and then takes off towards the sky.  In an effort to prevent him from grabbing air, I quit my problematic requests and headed for the treat container, where I could immediately make everything right in his world - and I didn't dare ask him to sit for it.

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