~ Love, Lauren (and Claire!)
Hubby always says that Jasmine is an extremely special dog because she trained a woman. And did she ever! She changed me from a person who thought that dogs were cool — in somebody else's house — to a dog mama. And she did it in such a way that I didn't even know what hit me!
That is not the only thing that makes her special. She is an extremely smart girl. It is though her ability to mold her world to her liking and her high intelligence might be connected. When she first came into our home, she checked the whole place out and then found a place to curl up for a nap. "I get my own house and my own bipeds that I don't have to share with anybody? Cool! I can work with this!" No crying, no stressing over being gone from her mother and her siblings. It was like the big adventurers from the old days: she found this land and claimed it her own.
I diligently started working with her on potty training. The second day she went straight to the door and whined. Hubby and I looked at each other — no, that can't be! But figuring that it might be good to teach her that whining at the door will get her out in the yard, we let her out. And then she did it again. Long story short, Jasmine was fully potty-trained in a week, I kid you not! However, she quickly learned that this kind of communication could be used for purposes other than going to the bathroom.
For instance... When Jasmine chews on marrow bones, she will start whining to let me know that she needs help getting out the marrow from the middle. One day I was busy on my computer, so when Jasmine gave her little whine, I didn't come to her rescue right away. After a few minutes, I could hear her over by the door asking to go out. I stopped what I was doing and went to let her out, but when I opened the door, she just sat there. I closed the door again and she walked over to her bone and looked at me. "Well, now, that you're off that chair, are you gonna help me with that bone?"
Though Jasmine can often fool anybody she wants, fooling her is an impossible task. She knows which days are work days and which days are fun days. It should seem clear how she does that, as each person has their own routine. On a work day, Jasmine goes on a morning patrol around the block, then she gets her breakfast, and then Hubby takes a shower and goes to work. On a fun day, there is no patrol, no breakfast, and no shower; Hubby packs breakfast into a lunch box, and they go off to the farm. It seems simple to distinguish between the two routines, right? Except every once in a while, Hubby needs to do something that prevents him from taking the Jasmine. It hurts her feelings if she gets left behind, so we tried to fool her: we carefully followed the same routine that we would on a normal work day. But it doesn't matter how hard we try, she just knows the difference! I swear she's reading Hubby's mind and knows exactly where he's planning on going! She has even tried to control the situation a few times by refusing to have her breakfast! "If I don't have breakfast now, we'll certainly go to the farm!" In a way, Jasmine's efforts work. She makes Hubby feel so bad for not taking her with him that he tries his hardest to bring her whenever he can. And when he can't help it, he quickly comes up with a way to make it up to her.
So that's Jasmine for you: she likes to make sure she gets her own way and ensures that the world revolves around her. We do have an excuse for spoiling her though: she's been through a lot. Two near death experiences, two abdominal surgeries, bilateral knee surgery, stem cell treatment, a number of other surgeries... She did pull through though and she is still standing! After we almost lost her twice though, every day that she is with us is a blessing. We've got to give her all we can! She is extremely smart and has a heart of gold. She is the inspiration behind my blogging.