ROLL ME OVER

By Lydia, Me-Myself

Hi Dog Lovers! My name is Lydia and I am writing my own story with the help of my invisible-canine-translator. It is important that I speak for myself. Sometimes the human species gets mixed up in trying to speak for us dogs. Humans tend to see things from their point of view rather than through the sensitive, strategical thinking of a dog.

Lydia is saying, "See what a smart and irresistible dog I am.

Lydia is saying, “See what a smart and irresistible dog I am.”

Here is my story. I am a year and four months old. As a puppy dog, I was born happy and desiring fun and love. My looks are just right for me to strategically fulfill my desires.   I am an unusual and somewhat weird looking dog – the unusual combination causing people to look at me and then smile at the humor of my perplexing appearance. In actual fact, there are not many dogs like me. I am a regal mix of Basset Hound and Dachshund. Even my dog-sitter says I am the first of my kind she has seen.

Starting at my beginning, as I came out of my Mother’s womb, I remember how happy I was to see the sunshine. I longed to go play in the sunshine. When the word was being put out that I would go to an owner, I visualized myself with my Ideal Human Parents. I figured I could visualize them into existence. I pictured myself with parents who like to have fun, and who share lots of love. Within six weeks, I was presented to my parents who are just what I ordered. Their first names are Nora and Dan.

Lydia says, "As long as I let my big Human Brother hold me like silly puddy, I know we can soon play."

Lydia says, “As long as I let my big Human Brother hold me like silly puddy, I know we can soon play.”

They are my perfect parents. Nora and Dan enjoy having fun with me. They even dubbed me with a special role to play as Chief Canine at their big home. As part of this role, they were and continue to be determined to teach me how to be a Therapy Dog. This is great for me because I really like learning-besides, I know it is rewarding for the trainer (in this case the main trainer is my human Dad, Dan). Upon his command, I stop and I sit. This is easy for me to do and makes Dad real proud when I succeed. The only command that I don’t appreciate, but that Dad insists upon is this: When he is walking me if I pick up a pine cone and am carrying it in my mouth to take home, Dad will ask me to drop it. When I drop it, he rewards me by giving me a treat rather than the pine cone. Although I love the treat, I feel cheated when I discover that the pine cone is long gone.

For at least the past eight months, my parents have been taking me to doggie-daycare four times a week. Most often there are other dogs present. This has required me to think logically as well as to maintain my sensitivity. I start off by remembering my goals are fun and love. Keeping these goals squarely before me, I go into action.

Who says dogs don't talk together?  After meeting Salty, Lydia says to Salty, "It is great to meet you.  I am here for you if you need me.  I can see you like to have fun."

Who says dogs don’t talk together? After meeting Salty, Lydia says to Salty, “It is great to meet you. I am here for you if you need me. I see you like to have fun.”

When a new dog arrives at my doggie-daycare called Home Away From Home, I make it my business to walk gently over to the newcomer.

I did this just today with Benjie, a one and half year old male Shitzu, Yorkie, Lapso Apso who looks like a movie star. At first Benjie backed away from me.  Like most dogs, Benjie was frightened. To show Benjie I was safe, I stuck around a safe distance from him. As his muscles relaxed, this was my signal to take action on step 2. I walked over closer to Benjie, and then I rolled over on my backside exposing my belly. This gesture is my Surrender gesture. It demonstrates to my new canine friend that I trust him/ her to be good to me, that I am vulnerable, and that I am a safe player.

Laying down my life like this is a real winner. Not many dogs have the guts to put aside their dog ego and surrender. I further believe that not many dogs have the guts to lie down in a vulnerable position risking the possibility of being physically hurt. Of course, to be truthful, if my canine radar told me the new dog was not safe, I would not risk rolling over and assuming a surrender position. Fortunately, this happens rarely.

In Benjie’s case, as is with most other dogs, my actions paid off. As I say to the new dogs who I meet, “Okay, you can roll me over. You can do to me what you please”, they relax. Next they look at me with a rather bewildered face wondering what to do with me.

Lydia is scheming, "First I will give Benjie a kiss, then nip in his leg egging him on until he gets up and plays with me.

Lydia is scheming, “First I will give Benjie a kiss, then nip in his leg egging him on until he gets up and plays with me.”

With their bewildered look as my signal, I summon up my Canine Logic and swing into action. This is what I do. First I picture myself like a baseball player ready to swing the bat. Then I picture myself hitting the baseball far into the distance scoring a homerun. Instead of swinging a bat; however, in Benjie’s case I saunter over to him and playfully start nipping at his lower legs. He looks back at me intently. I then go rub my long body against his. This is my invitation to my new friend to come play with me.

In this particular instance with Benjie, he responds by jumping on top of me. I again surrender. I roll over. Benjie delights in seeing me stretched out, laying under him. Next I give him a little love nip on his throat. Inspired by my nip, Benjie starts mounting me. This is canine ritual we puppy dogs engage in a playful fashion to determine who is going to be the leader.  As winner, Benjie climbs down from the mounting position and knows she is “super-dog”.  This is when I starting running. Benjie chases me.

Lydia is in seventh-dog-heaven.  As she chases around the yard with Benjie she is thinking, "This is my homerun--what life is all about."

Lydia is in seventh-dog-heaven. As she chases around the yard with Benjie she is thinking, “This is what life is about.”

Benjie and I run in large circles all around the yard. Sometimes we meet, change roles, and I start chasing Benjie. It is absolutely delightful.

After our Canine Workout, we agree it is time to take a siesta. Benjie lies down on the couch, and I snuggle in close to his belly. Now Benjie is my true friend.

This is my general mode of doggie operation. I have variations to my master-plan, and of course have to make big adjustments to it for humans.

Lydia is thinking, "Okay, I helped you with your stress release for your upcoming exams.  Now lets go run around the campus and really have some fun and stress release.  Trust me, I know what works."

Lydia is thinking, “Okay, I helped you with your stress release for your upcoming exams. Now lets go run around the campus and really have some fun and stress release. Trust me, I know what works.”

For example, when dealing with Humans, I only expect the young humans called children to chase after me.

I love fun and love. My big secret from my prejudiced Canine opinion is:

The more fun I have, the more love I get. Fun and love seem to be rolled into one package.

Remember, I am openly sharing with you my Trade Canine Secrets. Please use my secrets wisely. Only reveal them to those dogs and humans worthy of playing with. To put them into action, simply remember to surrender and in the canine vernacular to “Roll Me Over”. When you do the “Roll Me Over” even if it is in your imagination, you are well on your way to magically fulfilling your dreams.

Lydia and Farley snuggling together after a vigorous chase around the back yard.

Lydia and Farley snuggling together after a vigorous chase around the back yard.

PS:  My story was complete until yesterday when I learned that sometimes my tactics can get me into trouble.

This is what happened. I was out at the local neighborhood lake with my dog sitter.  I was playing with a bigger dog.  As per normal, I egged the dog on until he started chasing me.  I ran onto the dock where my dog sitter was helping a woman with her boat.  The dock was slippery and I managed to loose my balance.

Ploop!  Swish!  Next thing I know I am half swimming and half drowning in the water.  Woe to Me!  I am virtually alone.  My dog sitter hasn’t seen me because I am behind her.  Desperate, on the spot I learn how to swim and manage to make my way over to a big log about 40 feet away from the dock and parallel to it.  Luckily my claws that needed cutting are razor sharp.  Using all my strength, I climb up and onto the log.  Holding on for dear life, I manage to get my balance without falling off.  The water surrounding the log is massively muddy–not a place I want to hang out.  From a previous visit to the lake, I remember that this log is a place where normally a family of turtles sit in a row sunbathing.

Lydia stranded on the frog's log at the local neighborhood lake.

Lydia stranded on the frog’s log at the local neighborhood lake.

After five minutes of pure agony trying to stay balanced on this log, my dog -sitter spots me.  We make eye contact.  I effectively wine like a little baby letting her know, in no uncertain terms,  that I am in trouble.  She, Blenda, motions for me to swim over to her at the dock.  No way am I willing to try to swim and navigate the muddy waters.

Responding in a way to say “NO” to my dog sitter’s good intentions, I continue to whine and pace the log.  Frequently I stare at her (Blenda) in an effort to penetrate her wrong thinking and intuitively inform her that she must come over to the log and get me.

A friend of Blenda’s joins her.

Blenda and her friend talk together.  At last my dog sitter descends the dock stairs, gets into the water, and starts swimming over to me.  I think my good-hearted dog sitter is having a hard time swimming through the muck.  Finally Blenda reaches me and extends her hand out to me inviting me to jump into the water with her.

There is no way I want to jump into the water.  Sensing this, Blenda starts walking me down the log toward shore.  There is a big branch laying across the log.  I know if I try jumping over the branch I will loose my balance and slip and fall into the water.

I start to walk back out on the log away from shore.  Blenda inches her way up real close to me. Next thing I know she gently nudges me off the log.  Fighting for my life, I hear her friend calling me.  Next I look up and see her friend.  She is bent down over the dock with hands in the water ready to receive me.

Lydia stranded on the log and demanding help!

Lydia stranded on the log and demanding help!

Now in crisis, there is only time for snap decisions.  I decide not to wait for my dog sitter to help me.  I decide to paddle my little short legs like crazy heading toward Blenda’s friend. Looking right through my fear, I focus on this friend ready to rescue me–ready to pick me up out of the water and raise me up and onto the dock.

“WOW!” I say to myself, “Before I have time to get all worked-up about what a big risk I am taking, here I am.  I’m back on the dock–on real ground.  Thank you dog-sitter and friend.  I’ll shake and wag my tail non-stop so you know I am safe, sound and happy. ”

When it is all over and I have thanked Blenda and her friend for taking care of me and rescuing me, I think to myself, “Maybe I had best not play my ROLL ME OVER game so close to docks.  I’ll make this a priority in my strategical thinking.  After all, I am a Super Smart Top Dog!!!”

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