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A couple of months ago, we put a bell on the back door to train Robin into a more polite way of asking to go out besides hurling himself at it at fifty miles an hour to pop it open. It worked like a charm and the young well mannered prince now very quietly and gently nudges at this little bell with his nose then sits down like a gentleman waiting for someone to come open the door, with Ladybug, Brodie and the cat lined up behind him. Then they all charge out at about sixty miles an hour (we're still working on that part --it's hard when parents have different philosphies about raising children.)

 

From the start of this little exercise, everyone furry in the household understood that it's Robin's job to ring the bell and when he decides it's time to go out, everyone goes out. The cat tried it a few times but we NEVER opened the door for the cat. Didn't want any of that nonsense going on because a cat will drive you crazy ringing a bell. Robin only rings it when he needs to go out.

 

Last week, to raise Brodie's profile a bit, I decided to teach him how to ring the bell as well as part of his "touch" exercises. It took awhile to coax him to try because he's used to being number three in rank and in his mind, ringing the bell is invading Robin's territory . I was finally able to convince Brodie that I "own" the bell and if he wanted to go out, he needed to ring the bell and yesterday he got this "Oh Boy!" light in his eye..."I TOO CAN RING THE BELL!" It was a defining moment in Brodie's life and he smiled. (He really does smile when he's happy.)

 

Today, he finally did it. I was working in the study. Robin was with me. Ladybug was downstairs with DH. (She never bothers with the bell anyway) The cat was outside. I heard the bell. Brodie RANG THE BELL!!!!

 

The look on Robin's face was hilarious. He looked like the disgruntled giant in Jack in the Beanstalk! He did growl softly under his breath but he got corrected swiftly for that.

 

I'm waiting to see if Brodie will do it again. I don't think he'll dare usurp the natural order of things if Big Brother is present, but if Robin isn't right there, and Brodie wants to go out, I'm willing to bet that Brodie will ring the bell again.

 

Liz

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