Mad Wags: Water Conditioning

1

January 17, 2014 by Julia West

As I mentioned in his introduction, Dash was on massive amounts of prednisone during his bout with sterile meningitis. As a result, he had learned the behavior of trying to drink as much water as you put down for him. To keep him from overdoing it, we would put down water an inch or so at a time. It was so ingrained in him that he only broke the habit around early 2012 – 5 years after his treatment.

While he had the habit, he would give us this look anytime we put down water.  We thought he looked grateful and called it his “Thank You” face. It was so cute that Aaron started to kiss him on the top of his head before he bent to take a drink. After a while, Dash was conditioned to another habit – waiting for his kiss before drinking. If I didn’t kiss his head, he’d stand in front of the bowl and wait. I’d give him his release word and he’d wag his nub slowly, continuing to wait. Like the urge to drink the bowl dry, he’s not quite so committed to the habit these days, but occasionally he still stands patiently, wagging his nub, waiting for his kiss.

My two sweet goobers.

Aaron taught him to watch Sportscenter too.

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