don’t answer me

I know my entries have been very heavy on the topic of dogs, so I think I’ll pull a few emails and post a couple questions and answers today.

“…I just finished When You Don’t See Me. Will there be a new TJB book soon? I think it’s great that you’re taking care of EZ. Does she get along with Rex? I hope you’re taking care of yourself, too.” – B.T., Virginia.

I’m glad you enjoyed WYDSM, B.T., and, if you haven’t read them, I hope you like our other books just as much. We haven’t discussed writing another TJB book yet, so I’m not sure when we’ll have a new book for you to read. EZ doesn’t get along with other dogs right now, because she’s in pain and wants everyone to stay away from her. If I’d been hit by a car I’d probably feel the same. I am taking care of myself, thank you. I also have great friends taking care of me. I hope you do, too. Have fun!

“You seem to know a lot about dogs. I got a dog a few months ago. I love her, but she ignores me when I call her. Any advice? – C.J.W., Cornwall.

I don’t enjoy giving advice, because if the advice I offer fails, then I’m to blame. And that sucks. But, I’ll relate my experience and you can glean from it what you may. When Rex first came to live with me he often ignored me because he had lots of new smells to smell, new sounds to listen to, new things to taste, and new people to jump on. It takes a long time for a dog to feel comfortable in a new home. You’ll see all kinds of new behavior as the months go by. Rex is a challenge because he has very strong energy and it takes a lot of energy in return to command his attention when he’s fixated on someone or something. When his energy is focused in a negative way, it’s very natural for me to want to say, “Rex! No!” But what I realized is that I was sending mixed messages to him by saying his name when he did something wrong. It’s difficult for him to distinguish between Rex, do what I’m saying because you’re being bad and Rex, come here because you’re good. And, if you’re a dog like Rex who probably hears the stern tone of voice saying your name, why would you want to answer to it? Once I thought about that, I tried to only say Rex’s name when something positive happened. Good boy, Rex Or, Sit, Rex. Good Rex, if he managed to sit when asked, etc. Or, even while we were just hanging out, watching television, I’d hug him, pet him, and say, Rex over and over, so he’d associate his name with love. After a while of this, all I had to say was Where’s Rex? and he’d come running. Try it! I hope it works.

About timothyjlambert

Timothy J. Lambert is allegedly a writer.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to don’t answer me

  1. mallory_blog says:

    I think dog trainers generally recommend a quiet place to train, getting the dogs attention (to look at you), reinforcement (treats and love) and repetition – slowly moving into more noisy environments. I think the do it everyday thing is what builds the relationship between words, actions, rewards.

    • rhondarubin says:

      I think you’re on to something there, because Jewish guilt does not work. “Why do you hate me so much?”, “Why don’t you sniff that doctor’s dog’s butt?”, “That’s it, tomorrow we’re going to the Good Dog Store,” have absolutely no affect whatsoever. I’ve found that having a few training treats in my pocket for kudos on walks are way more effective.

  2. dogrl says:

    There’s not a thing wrong with entries about dogs.

  3. non-dog questions

    I have a non-dog related question. Would the TJB authors or some combo of authors you work with on novels be willing to be interviewed via email for a future issue of Gay Lifestyle Monthly and maybe a writing mag, if I can squeeze enough info out of you which would be of interest to writers as well as GLBT folks?

    Just wondering,
    Ellen, the GLM editor

Comments are closed.