A Conundrum


How can a dog be bad and good at the same time? Or to ask the question another way, when is it good for a dog to behave badly?

Last week mom asked Jack to come in the house because she was getting ready to go shopping. It was too hot to take us with her, so we were all supposed to stay in the house.

Jack realized that mom was going somewhere. He saw her signal him to come inside. Then he got this really goofy grin on his face and raced to the garage as fast as he could go.

When Tess or I do something like that mom tells us to mind our manners and do what we’re told. But when Jack had a moment of pure disobedience, she was thrilled. She laughed and told Jack how good he was for being bad.

Now I’ve been scolded a time or two, but I’ve never been praised for being bad. So I asked mom how come there were different rules for Jack. Mom said Jack was all messed up in the head when he came to us.  He marked everywhere in the house, tried to muscle me around, and had no manners.

Now Jack wants to be part of our pack and tries real hard to be perfect so he won’t get sent away. But Jack still lacks confidence.  He never leaves mom. He follows her around even when it’s awful hot. He has to know where she is all the time. So when mom asked Jack to come in the house, he finally had enough confidence to argue. He ran to the car and begged to go with. Mom said he never would have done that six months ago.

So I guess Jack’s disobedience means he’s starting to trust his place in the pack. He knows he’s loved and nothing bad will happen to him, even if he talks back. That’s why mom said Jack was good for being bad. Funny, huh?

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