Rupert’s barking at the back door is nothing new. In fact, it’s exactly what we taught him to do early on as a pup:

Gotta go?
Find the door.
Whimper, scratch, plead, or bark (we’re not picky).
Remain still until you’re leashed.
Do what you need to do.
Run back to the house.
Repeat as needed.

For the past seven years, he’s not deviated from the routine, so when he began barking in his “trained” spot last week, it came as no surprise. (Although, now that I think about it, he did seem to be a little happier than normal.)

I quickly leashed him, flung open the screened door, and proceeded to run down the back steps…alone. By the time the screened door slammed shut Rupert was already propped up on our 1950’s metal porch glider with a big furry grin on his face. Did I mention that our Lhasa loves to glide?

The disciplinarian in me wanted to pick up his coy fluffy self and take him inside (so as not to confuse his “potty” barks with “party” barks in the future), but being the glider lover that I am, I quickly caved and sat down beside him. He hopped in my lap, released an audible sigh, and snoozed off in to doggy la-la land as the gliding motion rocked him to sleep. All was right in Rupert’s world.

Who says you can’t teach an old owner new tricks?

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