Wilbur: What's new

New developments: In the last year or so he has taught himself to bark to get attention. This is kind of remarkable since he spent the first 12 years of his life virtually mute. Anyway, we try to discourage him from wanton barking. One way is to distract him by placing him on a command for a minute or two, like "Wilbur, do-o-own."

Commands: usually issued with the preface "Wilbur," as in "Wilbur, Sit!"

    • "Sit"

    • "Do-o-own" = lie down (usually from an already sitting position)

    • "Stay" = don't budge from your down or sitting position

    • "Come" = come and face me and sit

    • "Dro-o-op" = stop gnawing on that toy

Cold weather: Don't be surprised if he doesn't want to walk. Sometimes his walks barely leave our yard.

Customary evening pattern:

    • Walk

    • Dinner

    • Hide and seek. We hide one of his toys. He'll go search for it, although you can get him started by saying, "Wilbur, where is it? Go find it!"

    • After he finds the toy, you can alternately let him gnaw on it, take it from him (with "Dro-o-op!"), and tease him with it.

    • After a few minutes he'll have enough and expect a treat. "Wilbur, do you want a treat?" We usually give him a few veggies.