Stepping out into the brisk cool air of the evening, I pulled the white cap my grandmother had made for me further down my forehead. Letting the chilling breeze rush over me the air was tinged with the scent of rain. Perhaps it was more of a hopeful scent than a real one. As winters go, this one had been a terrifyingly dry one which followed with no snow, and worse off, no water (or not nearly enough.)
I called George’s name, stepping down the porch stairs into the night. He shot past me like a bullet as it was routine by now. Him, returning to the same place to relieve himself while I stood, telling him how good he was and touching base with the devilish thoughts that seemed to constantly linger in my mind. All of those “what if’s” and “why not’s” that life seems to hold over one’s head when there isn’t much else to think about. But of course, honestly there is always something else to be thought about.
George had finished and was sprinting full-speed towards me bursting with an excited energy. The warmth of indoors hit me as though I’d run into a sort of temperature-wall. I swallowed as George so rudely nuzzled his way into the house, following, a scowl ran across my face. He’s been getting away with murder these days.
Smiling, I snatched my book off the kitchen counter. I’ve read but barely half, hardly satisfactory by my own standards for the period in which this novel had been in my possession. Mindless excuses breach my mind: I haven’t had the time, nor a moment’s peace, ect. Merely excuses to myself, who cares. Chewing the inside of my lip (it’s becoming a dangerous habit these days..) I flipped pages carelessly not bothering to look at the words as I walked.
A dim light cast into my dark room from the hallway, George had already made himself at home inside as I left to accompany him. Replacing The Cuckoo’s Calling to it’s spot on top of Tom Clancy’s The Hunt For Red October on my nightstand I snatched my laptop off of my desk and planted myself on the floor.
Drool was speckled over the keys of my laptop as George dedicated himself to attempting to lick my fingers while I attempted to type my password. The task was rather grueling as I turned to pet him and he won his case. Spoiled.
Resting my head back, I groaned as he walked towards the door and began whining. The idea that now would be a perfect time to play (bettime) never seems to get old. I grab an empty paper cup off of my dresser and go to the bathroom to fill it half-full with water, perhaps he’s thirsty and it’ll settle his (seemingly boundless) energy. For eleven he certainly (thankfully) doesn’t act his age. As though he were parched, he lapped at the water, his eyes shut in enjoyment as he reached the point where he couldn’t further put his snout into the paper cup. Not a moment was spared as I watched him tear around the edges to shorten the cup’s height so he could get to the water. A smile touched my lips. Perhaps it was pride, or maybe I was simply impressed. The water had been finished and my smile was unmistakably mimicked on his face.
He is, without a doubt quite a bit smarter than anyone would ever give him credit for.
Though of all the things George has taught me one struck out had been this: Determination, Consistency and Persistence, will take you where you want in life if you want it badly enough.
Perhaps there is some confusion in that statement in that just maybe you’re thinking something along the lines of how I trained him, rather what I mean is how he’s countlessly outsmarted and trained me.
His witty stubbornness and constant refusal to give up, the ever guilt-tripping, nagging whine of his when he wants to be let in. His constant sweet nuzzling when he wants to be taken outside. It’s brilliant in many ways as the doting tasks he asks for seem less of a drag, more of protocol. You see he’s learned that humans are quite malleable and impressionable, so for him (without a word, might I add) get us to perform the deeds that he ever so pleases is not all entirely difficult as long as he can understand our body language. Not only does he have me trained, he’s got my entire family trained. It’s beautiful to watch his work, his consistency and persistence is immaculate. Calculating, he watches what we react to and discovers triggers. These triggers he reinforces and uses to his advantage. Whining to be let in turns into barking and pausing for a minute because he knows after he’s got our attention he won’t be let in until the barking stops. It’s all really quite brilliant, these things, he’s learned.
The real question is though, can I learn?