One Obedient Canine

Daisy, my Great Dane, can make a real mess of a garden in not very much time.  My boys and I spent a weekend tilling and planting the garden, and Daisy took about 15 minutes to dig a large hole in the middle of it.

So we replanted, she dug again, and I got angry. I yelled at Daisy, thinking it would help convince her to stay away from our crops, but the next day, she dug another trench.

Again, I became angry, but realized that yelling wasn’t going to do any good. My dog can apparently brush aside criticism without much effort so I decided to take a different approach.

When the crops were replanted (again) I took Daisy by the collar and had her sit at the edge of the garden. I explained to her in calm tone that the boys and I worked really hard to get the garden planted, and that I would appreciate if she stayed out of it. I told her she could dig anywhere else in the back yard, but that she needed to stay out of the garden.

Most people reading this, unless you’ve owned a dog  like Daisy, will call me a liar when I say that it’s been three weeks since I asked Daisy to cooperate with me, and our garden hasn’t been touched.

It’s true – three weeks have gone by and we have not had one issue with Daisy digging up our plants. In fact, I’ve watched her since our talk, and she looks more like a sentry standing guard rather than a punk trying to cause mischief. She chases away rabbits, squirrels and birds that want to dine on our sprouts, and lies close to the garden, but not too close. She still digs, though. There are several areas around the yard that look as if a land mine exploded, or an underground troll is trying to get air, but they are nowhere near our garden.

On Sunday I was reminded of our talk when, after a morning walk, Daisy ran around the yard like a greyhound on the final stretch of a big race, but came to a complete stop at the edge of the restricted area. Then, she changed directions and walked around the garden. All I had to do was ask nicely?

Now, I’m convinced to try this approach in other areas of my life.

When I get pulled over for speeding, I’ll just ask nicely for mercy. When I can’t afford something I really really want, I’m going to just ask for a discount with a smile on my face. TailGators will be asked to please back away. When it’s time for the kids to do the dishes, I’ll just be nice. When I want readers to believe a story that seems far fetched, I’ll just graciously ask.

The possibilities are endless, as long as people are as cooperative as Daisy.

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Posted by admin on May 18 2011. Filed under Jeremy Gulley, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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