Puppies tend to be alike in many ways. They have their catalog of what Steve calls Stupid Puppy Tricks (not referring to the kind that draw applause.) But some behaviors are more rare. Here’s the thing Dionne does that’s different from any other dog I’ve ever lived with:

She doesn’t spring to her feet and follow me, tailing wagging, when I move from one room to another.

Instead she just sits there, or worse, sometimes lies there, watching me depart. “Come along, Dionne!” I chirp. “Let’s go!!!” She watches. But she usually doesn’t move. This drives me crazy.

“Come on, Dionne.” But there’s no response. 

Still none…

Still none.

Is she waiting for me to disappear so she can get into things that are taboo when I’m present (marauding my desk, raiding shoes from our bedroom closets)? Is she tired? (“Why follow Her downstairs? She’ll just return a little later. A girl has to preserve her energy.”) Is this some weird canine extension of Keep Away (that terrible game that’s Dionne’s favorite thing in the world?) I have no idea.

For a while, I responded by marching back to her, grabbing her collar (assuming that she didn’t run away), and dragging her with me. But recently we’ve been thinking it’s better to entice her with a tiny treat. That invariably works.

Still, I’ve been very worried. This behavior seems like a dreadful response from a would-be service dog (“Pull your wheelchair? Meh. Maybe later.”) I was greatly reassured, therefore, when I mentioned it to our puppy mentor, LeAnn, last week at the canine cocktail party, and she said some of her pups had done the same thing. I didn’t grill her, but it sounded like they got over it.

Here’s hoping.

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