Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Trading for a Deer Leg

When Niki arrived as an 8-week-old pup, I taught her the "trade me" game.

She wanted to chew on shoes, socks, remote controls, towels, tissues, hats, gloves, anything. I wanted her to give up her prizes without a fight and without engaging in the "chase me" game.

So, I offered her balls, toys and treats as trades.

Slowly, she learned what was appropriate to chew--and  gave up her prizes without a fight.

The game came in handy this past weekend when she found a prize -- my leather work glove. She ran around the yard and tossed it in the air.

I took photos and dug in my pocket for a treat.

And, we traded.

But the real test came yesterday during our walk at dusk.

She came trotting in from the waterway with a grand prize -- a deer leg.

What would a 5-month-old puppy trade for a deer leg?

I went to the refrigerator and pulled out a small piece of chicken.

Stepping outside, I called, "Niki,"

Deer leg in mouth, she trotted toward me and eyed me warily.

When I showed her the chicken, she dropped the leg, came to me and sat. I fed her another piece and put her in the crate.

I was now the proud owner of a deer leg.