Boy have we got Jonas trained. No, we haven’t taught him how to generate a third revenue stream by pretending to be a horse. Nor, for that matter, how to gain finer motor control with his tail, thus converting it into a more prehensile version in order to do things such as dust the living room. No, instead we’ve reached another kind of milestone in
our his development: He now punishes himself for misbehavior. And we can do little to stifle our maniacal laughter.
The arc of his behavior since we got him has gone something like this:
- June 2006 – August 2006: Bites everything. Chews everything he gets scolded for biting (human limbs not excluded). Thinks jumping is the best thing ever. Runs from captors, refuses punishment, frustratingly small enough to evade 100% capture rate.
- September 2006 – March 2006: The Era of Woof – Dominated primarily by discovery of vocal chords and the power they hold. Nothing is safe from reproach, including air, stationary objects and imaginary things. Still jumping, albeit only on The Wife™ each morning. Still chewing, but tenderly and on the sly. Remote controls are new favorite toys and daily chase sequences delight all involved except the humans. Now too big to hide under furniture, thank God.
- March 2006 – present: Woofing lessened, now reserved for complaints and bouts of boredom. Biting of humans almost non-existent. Chasing eliminated from repertoire. Self-punishment achieved.
Somehow, someway we figured out how to get him to drop whatever it is that he’s stolen (kitchen towels, usually) and by simply pointing to his cage, he does the walk of shame, with head hung low, into his crate. We no longer scream like maniacs, threaten to throw him off the overpass or even touch a hair on his head. All it takes is, “Jonas…leave it. *point* In your cage, please.” BAM. Who knew that controlling the behavior of another living creature would bring such a surge of power! Control! TOTAL DOMINANCE! Being a parent must be such a rush.
Sure, we still have plenty of things to work on, things such as:
- Lesson 48: Dew claws were meant to rip open carcasses. Not Dad’s leg. Use with caution or they get removed with pliers.
- Lesson 108: Just because your head is at dinner table height does not mean that it’s a truck stop for parking your massive dome-piece on during a meal. You’re not that much of a member of the family, as you wear no pants.
- Lesson 283: Contrary to popular belief, we do not want to play ball every 30 minutes. Throwing your bowl across the house or ramming your face into the back door does little to convince us otherwise.
All in all, though, we’ve made considerable progress. And seeing as the list of lessons that he needs to master only goes to 500, we should be wrapping things up just around the time he looses control over his bowels due to old age…which means we get to start all over again. How awesome is that?