Cassie and I have a snack game we play every day sometime around noon. It’s been long enough since breakfast and still too far til dinner that she gets a little grumbly in her tummy. So I ask her if she wants snackies and if it’s time to play the game.
The game is simple. I take 3 of her dog biscuits and break them into 4 or 5 pieces. Makes it look like a veritable feast. (Sorta like putting our diet dinners on a salad plate.) Then I send her to her crate in a down stay while I go hide them. I put one under a giant pile of toys. I shove some inside the well-chewed bones around the house. I put on the chair, the edge of the coffee table. I put one under her blanket. You get the idea. Then I release her and let her go “find” the treats. It’s great fun because she loves to find them and then she gets to eat them. It exercises her brain and tires her out at the same time. Bonus for me, she usually takes a nap afterward.
I may have mentioned a time or two that Cassie is a smart dog. Today I said “snackies” and “play the game” and suddenly she disappeared. I didn’t think much about it at first. I just went to the kitchen and grabbed a few biscuits. Then I went looking for her. She had already gone to her crate and laid down and was giving me her best “focus” look. She was ready to play the game. She knew what she had to do before we could play. She wanted her reward.
I’m working on Flyboy’s story. Now. Still. Whatever. It’s gone well. It’s gone, well, not so good. Some days I can write 1,000 words, solve plot problems in my sleep and craft sentences I find so brilliant I want to write them in gold. Some days I write three sentences and I call it a good day. On Monday I reread what I had written so far and decided it didn’t stink as much as I thought it might. Last night it seemed like the most boring story ever. EVER. Today it looks fixable.
This is the way the game is played. I know what I have to do to get there. I have to put myself in the chair and write one word at a time. It’s hard. Every day I fight it. I fight going to my office chair. I fight opening the manuscript. I fight putting my fingers on the keys. But I want that reward, the finished book.
I just need to take the first step and sit in the chair.
Great post, Susan. I’ll be in my crate tomorrow, bright and early.
I’m in love with your dog.
My Rotti was like that. I crate trained him a a puppy – when we’d go out he had to go into the crate. This included when we’d go on fire calls (back before my son stopped me from going). Eventually he recognized the sound of our station’s tones on the scanner and would run to the crate before we could tell him.
Dogs are so smart.
Great post, Susan. I love hearing about Cassie and your writing progress.
Smart dog and brilliant owner friend to recognize it 🙂 Whenever people make some scathing remark about how dumb animals are, I just look at *them.* Why should an animal try to communicate with people who have no respect for them? I love how much you care for Cassie and how lovingly she responds.
Time for snackies here, too. Me, that is 🙂
Love those games. Wish someone would hide snacks for me to exercise my brain and my writer bones. Have you considered a side business? You visit writers, hide chocolate kisses around their houses while they sit obediently in their chairs, then you leave and let them ferret out those treats. You’d make a tidy sum, I bet.
Once again, brilliant…
Very smart dog. Good teacher. You are too hard on yourself and your own worst critic, listen to me the eternal worrier. Flyboy will come, when we want something so bad we try too hard. Take a step back actually put yourself in his shoes if you have to and it will happen. I have no idea what the story is about but I did post a comment on your last blog that may or may not help.
– Anne McKenna
Cassie is so smart. And so is her writing friend.