How Petey Chose His Name

26 Nov 2007Steve Schwarz

Greetings everyone, this is Petey. Mom says I’d better get used to keeping a journal seeing as how, according to her, I am ‘too smart for my own good’. For my first entry, I’d like to set the record straight about how I came about acquiring my name. I believe Dad is still holding onto the delusion that he and Mom named me. In fact, it took awhile before they came up with a name I actually liked. And even then it was by accident (theirs). Until then I was forced to ignore the undignified selections they were attempting to foist upon me.

It happened like this. My task that week was to train Mom to remove her shoes through the expedient of pulling them off her feet while she was walking around, a feat requiring split-second timing to avert disaster. Although trying to train this particular trick has caused several unexpected falls (Mom’s) and colorful language (also Mom’s) I firmly believe that one cannot make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

I was in the middle of my eleventh or twelfth attempt (I have discovered that it takes many repetitions to train these individuals. In fact, they sometimes act as though they are trying to train me which affords me much amusement. Fortunately I am, if nothing else, quite patient with these rather slow-witted but well-meaning humans even if I must desist for a time to devise other methods to get them up to speed), during which Mom kept saying ‘No!’ and trying to distract me by making me do various things such as sitting or lying down (she must think she’s dealing with an amateur) Dad called over from the sofa where I thought he had been observing my training efforts with admiration. ‘Hey lady, your dog is really bad! He reminds me of Petey.’ As I understand it ‘Petey’ was a nickname for my predecessor ‘Mr. Peabody’ who I am apparently related to.

Now on the one hand, while I took exception to his effrontery in implying that I was the one misbehaving, on the other, I finally heard a name that struck my fancy. I made a quick decision, stopped the training session, and walked over to Dad to congratulate him on finally offering me a name that was suitable to my taste. ‘Aaaagh!’ he exclaimed ‘Did you see that? He likes Petey!’ (Dad can be somewhat inarticulate) I wagged my tail wildly knowing that well-timed praise can do wonders and also that I often need to hit these people over the head with the obvious. After that it was puppy’s play to train them to recognize my name by running over to the parent calling it out.

Training can be an uphill battle but I have high hopes that with patience and persistence I will have these humans trained to my liking within a few years or so. I welcome favorite training stories from all you canines out there.

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