Back in October 2007, when Ella was just 2 years and 8 months old, she taught our dog a trick all by herself.
Ever since then she has regularly been made responsible for feeding the dog and she has always consistently enforced the 'sit' routine. Something I have never bothered with as our dog is/has always been very well behaved when waiting for her food.
But yesterday Ella mentioned that the dog sometimes takes quite a while to sit down as if she's forgotten what to do and that maybe I should start doing this routine too.
So tonight, as Ella is on a houseboat on the Clyde river somewhere, I filled up the dog's bowl and for the first time ever I stood up and held the bowl up until the dog sat down before I put it down for her to start eating. It was strange to make the dog do a 'trick' that Ella taught her. Strangely moving even. And it's quite a beautiful trick because not a sound is made or order given.
I must add that the dog was still - and most likely will always be - very reluctant to sit. I sense that she finds it patronising or even humiliating to have to sit for her dinner. Something you'd make a puppy do, but not a 10yo dog with the potential to win best behaved dog of the year award!