I fill my pockets with treats. “We will work today,” I tell Aggie. “We will work on SIT and STAY.”
“Sit, Aggie,” I say. Aggie sits. I give her a treat. “Stay,” I say. Aggie does not. She sees something. She sees something gray. “Ruff! Ruff!” Aggie runs fast. “Come back!” I say.
The squirrel jumps into the tree. I take Aggie back into the yard. “Squirrels are not for you,” I say.
I am ready to try again. “Sit,” I say. Aggie does not. She hears something. She hears something green.
“Do not eat the grasshopper, Aggie.” Aggie sniffs. The grasshopper jumps. Aggie jumps, too! “Silly Aggie,” I say, “grasshoppers are not for you.”
Training is hard work. I stop to scratch Aggie’s ears. “Come here, Ben!” Mr. Thomas calls. “Come let me see Aggie!” “Yes, sir,” I say. “But you cannot see Aggie. You cannot see.” “I see with my hands,” Mr. Thomas says. “Aggie is a fine dog! Soft coat, floppy ears...” Mr. Thomas laughs. “And of course, a long, wet tongue!”
Mr. Thomas shows me how to hold the treat high so Aggie can’t take it.
“Sit,” I say. Aggie sits. “Stay,” I say. Mr. Thomas holds Aggie while I back away. Then Mr. Thomas backs away, too. Aggie stays. She sniffs.
She smells something. Aggie smells something orange. “Ruff! Ruff!” Aggie runs and runs. “Oh, Aggie, not again!” I say. “Hissssss!” says the cat. It jumps on top of the fence.
I take Aggie back to Mr. Thomas. “Aggie will not learn,” I say. “She will learn,” Mr. Thomas says. “But it will take time.” “Maybe Aggie does not like SIT,” I say. “Maybe she does not like STAY.”
My red ball rolls out of my pocket. Mr. Thomas hands me my red ball. “Maybe she likes playing fetch,” he says.
“Fetch, Aggie!” I say. Aggie runs fast. Aggie is a good dog. And she will learn. Someday.