Yesterday I found my new all-time favorite blog. Wimseyblog.blogspot.com is home to the musings of Sir Wimsey the Manhattan bloodhound.
I got permission from his personal assistant Elizabeth to run this excerpt on Sir Wimsey’s view on commands.
Houndspeak Obedience Command Translations
Sit: Sit means that a human is holding a tasty snack in their hand and that the fastest and most efficient way to obtain this tasty snack is to lunge for it and grab it. Should you wish to practice your sit an excellent time is in the show ring when your human is trying to stack you or when the judge is examining you.
Down: (see sit). Alternatively this command can mean that you are somehow in the way or are too large or too intimidating in a standing or seated position. As all of these attributes are all extremely desirable why would you mitigate the advantage of them by lying down? Consequently the command “down” really means “loom larger.” But “down” can safely be practiced in tandem with “thwack” when a belly rub is desired or in the show ring during your down and back when you want to scratch that itch on your back.
Heel: “Heel” is a command of weakness that means your human is tired, injured, embarrassed or fed up, all of which means, “pull harder, you’re winning.” “Heel” and “Hound” are antithetical concepts like matter and anti-matter and should never be brought together. A Hound, by dint of thousands of years of creative genetics, must be out front dragging a human along the fascinating line of the scent du jour. There are almost no circumstances in which a Hound should practice heel, with the exception perhaps of trying to chew a hole in a human’s jacket pocket to access a desirable treat.
Come: Contrary to what humans think, this is never a good command as it usually means that whatever it is that your are enjoying yourself doing your human is not enjoying themselves watching and prefers that you desist. Plus humans seldom issue this command when they want to do something nice like giving you a new toy or some gelato because when you see or sense the good thing the command is superfluous. “Come” can lead to baths, vet visits, crates, silly hats etc. But you can practice “come” whenever a situation arises (like a dinner party) in which you can make a colossal nuisance of yourself.
No: The command “no” essentially means that you are on to a good thing-go for it. There is no stronger word with which to encourage a Hound than “no” and the louder and more vigorous the command the better the thing is that you are on to. Hounds can practice their version of “no” only when in the presence of grooming implements such as the nail clipper or walking control devices such as the gentle leader.
Stay: “Stay,” like “no” is a command of encouragement: that is, if you don’t stay where you are you are on the verge of finding something or doing something that possesses exceptional entertainment value—such as presenting your posterior to the camera instead of your face. Conversely, if you do stay, something unpleasant is likely to ensue (see come). “Stay” can be successfully practiced when it is time to leave the park or when sleeping the wide way across a bed or when hogging the kitchen floor.
Drop It: “Drop It” is another command of encouragement as it is self evident that if your human wants you to drop it dropping it is manifestly not in your best interest. “Drop it” really means, “swallow fast” or “run away now.” Hounds may want to practice “drop it” however when that piece of horse poop that they were about to ingest turns out disappointingly to be a rock or when a pill is inserted into their mouth.
If you like Wimsey’s blog you may like Crap Roxie Thinks on this blog. Click here for entries