Sam Update: Commands

You’ve been without a Sam update in a while and I feel like I can cautiously report that Sam has gone a full year without a major medical event. I feel hesitant proclaiming this, because it seems a bit like asking the evil powers that be to come up with something new and more exciting. If you could all take a moment to knock on something wooden (or plastic or metal – whatever is close at hand that you feel brings good luck), I’d appreciate that. I’d really hate to see what is more exciting than neurologists, cat scans, spinal taps, new knees and rehab. If any dogs deserves a break, it’s Sam.

These days Sam mostly just patters around the house still afraid of the cats, still in love with food and a huge fan of cuddling under her blanket (which used to be my blanket).

I had read recently about a dog that knows over 200 words, so I tried to think of all the words/phrases Sam knows and came up with this rather short list:

“Sit” – she came to us knowing this one and a variant “sit pretty”, which is more like “beg” but we don’t insist she “sit pretty” for things.

“Hey, Sam!” – I think she’s convinced this is her full name, but it lets her know I want her to “come” or “come and look” at something. When I say, “hey, Sam!” (and we’re in the house) she’ll immediately cock her head to the side and come over to see what I’ve gotten into. An alternate meaning when in the backyard is, “stop baying at the annoying little dog next door or the neighbors who are trying to chat outside,” which is great FUN if you’re a beagle! In fact, she likes to get one little dog riled up to the point that it’s completely spun-up and insane, she’ll then immediately return to her sniff satisfied that her work is done.

Blanket Thief

“Let’s go to bed!” – I think to Sam this means “snacks in 30 minutes”. This is used when I’m going to bed and she’ll pad along behind me, laying on her dog bed. She knows once I’m asleep Jay will then take her outside and then she’ll get a “cookie” – one tiny dog biscuit. This is the best part of her day behind eating breakfast, eating dinner, eating her mid afternoon carrot or eating a backyard dog biscuit (she made them herself – yuck!). Food is THE BEST!

“Uh uh” – Jay discovered that she understands this better than “no”. “Uh uh” is usually used at about 8 am on weekends when she decides that she’s tired of Jay being asleep and she’d like a snack. She doesn’t get a snack at this time, but if Jay, in a sleep deprived haze, gets up thinking she needs outside, she’ll run into the kitchen and wag excitedly. Have I mentioned hounds LOVE food?

“Back-up” or “Excuse me” – These are used to get her to back-up from the food container. She’s very polite.

“Ear” – I don’t know that she actually knows this word or even how she’d let us know she knows this word, but we’ve got some crazy idea that she wants to know it. So, we’ll say “ear” and then play with her ear, because nothing is cuter or softer than a beagle ear. I’m sure “ear” will soon be adopted with “heel”, “sit”, “stay” and “down” as one of the more popular tricks to teach a pet and here we are, the pioneers of that command!

Again, knock on something nearby, I just wanted to report that Sam seems to be doing great and she’d very much love some food, please.

3 thoughts on “Sam Update: Commands

  1. Lori says:

    Those are great! Sam is a smart girl and I’m glad she’s doing well. Ear is a pretty cute command. My favorite command/question for Dot is to ask her if she wants to do yoga. No matter what she is doing she will stop in mid stride, instantly plop down and roll on her back with all four of her legs stretched way out. She knows this will result in the most awesome thing in the world, a tummy rub. Well, second only to the real most awesome thing in the world, which is a snack.

  2. My dogs back out of the way when I say “beeeeep beeep beeeep” like a truck backing up … “Last Time” means we are going to bed … last chance to pee before morning! and “Im going to kill all three of you and replace you with cats!” means … For the love of all that is Holy!!! GO AWAY!!!!

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