Eventually my Human Momma decided to start letting me stay loose in the house while both Humans were out in the yard for short periods. All was going well and I was gaining freedom. Then one morning both Humans walked by me, Momma laying her glasses on the chest by the door on her way outside with Papa. I thought she’d appreciate it if I picked them up and handed them to her when she came back inside.
I’m still a little confused about what happened next. I sat in front of the door proudly holding her glasses in my mouth. The door opened and Momma got a funny look on her face when she saw me, and Papa said “you need to punish him for that”. But Momma said, “No, he’s a retriever! That’s what he does. I can’t punish him for doing his job now.” The conversation and the expression on Momma’s face is forever burned into my brain. “I needed to punish him for takin’ them off the chest, but I didn’t see him do it and now he’s only doin’ his job”.
Momma took her glasses, gave me a pat and said “thank you”. Then she bent down and picked up a lense off the floor. Until the next day when both Humans took off with Momma’s glasses she seemed very uncomfortable and unhappy.
Let me tell you about Chessies…we’re extra smart and people don’t understand that. I wasn’t punished but I understood a lot of the exchange. We understand a lot of words, and tone of voice is very important plus the body language. We are experts reading body language.
I have never again taken anything off of a cabinet or counter. I retrieve only items I am told to retrieve.
Oh, and the freedom thing? I’ve totally earned my freedom in the house and lots of places as I’m sure you can tell if you’ve been reading my blog regularly.