When we first got our dogs, my wife had a neat idea. She hung a small bell on the door that led to their yard. She then taught our goofy dogs (who are deceptively smart) to ring the bell when they wanted to go outside. They learned this rather quickly, and we were very proud of ourselves. Of all the tricks we’ve taught them, this one seemed to impress people the most. “So, you’re telling me that they ring the bell when they want go out? All by themselves?” Yes, we were quite proud of our stupid little beasts.
Over time, I’ve come to despise the sound of The Damn Bell™. This is mainly because the dogs ring it non-effing-stop between the hours of 5pm and 10pm. They usually wait until your ass hits the sofa.
Then, shortly after you let them out, they want to come back in. (The coming back in part involves barking; there’s no outside bell. You’re welcome, neighborhood.) This is usually around the time you’ve decided to sit down again.
Here’s the worst part, though. While we like to smugly pat ourselves on the back for training our dogs to do this, the sad truth is that Mrs. JoseMonkey and I are the ones who are trained.
Ding! Get up and let the dogs out.
Ding! Ding! We’re very good at it.
My Pavlovian instincts were never more apparent than this morning. You see, The Bean discovered The Damn Bell™.
As she was cruising around in her walker, she found this wonderful item dangling from the door knob. You can guess what happened next.
My training immediately kicked in and I started walking toward the door. Realizing it was just The Bean, I laughed it off and went back to what I was doing.
I headed for the door again, totally on auto-pilot. I am a well-trained monkey.
Somewhere, a beagle is laughing.