Stay

We’ve been working on “stay” for weeks, Eddy was quick to get it but Ed has taken a while as usual. He’s come a long way though.

In all honesty Eddy’s staying could just be a coincidence because he is rather lazy, his come is improving too though so that makes me think there has been real progress. The stay training started with that youtube video I posted a while ago, but I finally got it to click by teaching them to keep out of the bathroom with me. I put my flat palm outward and say “stay” and they have gotten really good about allowing me some privacy. Eddy generally doesn’t even follow me anywhere any more unless food or a walk is involved. Ed is just as needy as ever though. He use to jump on me in the bathroom but now he sits and waits outside the door. He stairs at me like a little creeper but it’s better than the alternative. When I close the door he scratches it so we still have that to work on.

Also he use to follow me anytime I got up from the couch, table, counter or whatever but now when I say “stay” with an out turned hand, where ever we are, he actually stays. It’s remarkable how these little critters are able to learn both verbal and non-verbal language so quickly. I mean perhaps they are slower to learn than other dogs but 6 months seems damn quick to me. It’s true that they had just turned 3 years when we brought them home but idk I’m amazed at the influence they have had on both Eric and my life.

We had brought our snake Nagini home the year before we brought Ed and Eddy home but as much as I hate to admit it that didn’t prepare me at all. Nagini is probably less work than our cactus Seymour even, now that she’s settled at least, and definitely loads less work than the dogs. I think that I’m less attached to her because of it. Don’t get me wrong, she’s brilliant and I could (and do) watch her for hours but it’s different. We are incapable of responding to each other.

When we first moved into our Independence apartment, and out of our first apartment 20 minutes away in Monmouth, Nagini got moved in just like all of the furniture. It was scary for her too, being carried upstairs in her box. It was similarly stressful to when we brought her home from the Craigslist guy 20 minutes the other direction in Dallas. She was extremely insecure then too.
Her pulse was going crazy so I had to pick her up and hold her on my lap until she calmed down. Snakes are weird and smell through their skin, so because I held her a lot in the beginning and am still the one who feeds and waters her now she has grown to trust my scent. Only mine though, Eric’s is somewhat familiar to her too but besides the two of us she doesn’t like people getting close to her. I mean she’s a great snake, 6 years old and has never struck, but she isn’t exactly friendly. Since she needs regulated heat to live and is not capable of learning commands like my dogs did, there is not a whole lot I can do with her either. My relationship with her really isn’t much different than my relationship with Seymour. I do love and care for her, and am often amazed by her, but it isn’t even on the same plain as my love for Ed and Eddy. They live in a manner that I can better relate to while Nagini remains alien to me.

I was watching a nature show about mammals yesterday and it made me realize that mammals have a much greater bond with other mammals than they are capable of with other animal groups. Likewise reptiles with reptiles, amphibians with amphibians, marsupials with marsupials, and yada yada yada. So mammals aren’t necessarily the superior species but it makes sense that humans have a greater attachment to dogs and cats than they do to fish and birds or vice-versa. It’s a natural phenomenon, it’s why dogs are said to be man’s best friend. It’s why Ed and Eddy keep striving to learn and please both Eric and I. They have made so much progress since we have brought them home and it is evident that they will continue to in the future.

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