Canine Mind Meld


I’m eating lunch. Turkey on whole wheat with a smear of Dijon and a froth of leaf lettuce. A small, warm muzzle is laid on my thigh. Trusting brown eyes stare up at me full of hope and optimism. My heart melts. My fingers tear away a piece of turkey, which is gently taken from my hand.

I’ve been trained.

I tell people about the tricks I’ve taught Joey — sit, down, spin and take a bow. I’m not so quick to talk about — even to recognize — the tricks he can make me do.

Training is definitely an interactive process.

Joey has trained Vera to deliver sausage and egg on a bark.

He’s trained Vera and me both that if he can slip around behind us and get into the hallway while we’re spinning around collecting purses and keys, he can often get to go along.

He’s trained me to get up and out of bed when he stretches, dragging his claws along the cover of one of the many books beside my bed.

It takes a powerful amount of awareness not to succumb to the canine mind meld.