stanley learns a trick

I’ve been trying to teach Stanley to give paw
why? I’m not too sure
I suppose in the dog world you can say you’ve arrived
if your dog can stop and give a high five
(although obviously not to each other
if I saw that I’d never recover
next thing you know they’d be riding bikes
reading the paper, smoking pipes
sending emails, voting in May
so – pretty much like Planet of the Apes
except the Apes are Dogs and the people are sick
they ever started teaching them fancy tricks)

who knows
anyway – this is the way the training goes:

I rattle the treat box, take up my position
Stanley ambles into the kitchen
stands there staring at me super warily
as I take out a treat very carefully
hide it in my hand
hold it out and give the command
PAW!
he stares at me exactly the same as before
PAW!
he’s no idea what I’m doing this for
PAW!
no – still not sure
PAW!
staring at me like that fibreglass dog outside the pet store
PAW!
but this time I tap him on the front leg
he lifts his back one instead
I say THANK YOU! and give him the treat

which – yes – I know – is the wrong thing to reinforce
with the inevitable outcome now of course
that I’m training Stanley to be more perverse
so when I say PAW he goes into REVERSE

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