Take a Bow ... by C.L. Beck

Today we’re discussing the environmentally friendly topic of recycled bathroom tissue. Yes, there really is such a thing, and it's not what you're thinking. But before we get into that, let’s talk about something of even greater importance—my husband’s inability to teach our dog, Corky Porky Pie, to bow.

Russ and Corky Porky have a wonderful relationship. Mostly because Russ feeds Corky snacks that put weight on both the man and his dog—things like Cheetos, jerky, and popcorn. There isn’t a single food that Russ and his best friend won’t eat. Well, except maybe lettuce. Probably because it’s healthy.

Russ also likes to teach Corky tricks. Things like, “Catch and eat this piece of hot dog.” “Catch and eat this piece of bacon.” “Catch and eat this sunny-side-up egg.”


As is often the case with man and his best friend, the wife teaches the dog the important things. Commands like come, sit, stay, roll over, and play dead all fall under my jurisdiction.

Oh, and also the phrase, “Be quick.”

For those who can’t guess, that’s a polite way of telling the dog—when he’s outside—to go do his thing. I try never to give that particular command indoors. Which means I can’t ever say to Russ, “Shut that oven door before the cake falls, and be quick about it!”

We’ve had a few near accidents with the phrase. Russ often forgets that it’s a command and can’t be used as a question with the dog. He’ll be sitting in his recliner (Russ, not the dog) and when Corky goes into a barking frenzy—which should be a sign to Russ that the dog needs to go out—he’ll look at Corky Porky and say, “What? Do you need to be quick?”

That’s followed by a mad dash up the stairs and a race to get the dog out the door before he promptly follows Russ’s unintentional command to empty his bladder … in the house.

Now I know that there may be a few of you who don’t believe Corky Porky Pie can actually perform this command, but let me assure you, it’s true. I am not making this up, because if I were to make up a bizarre dog trick in the politically incorrect topic of doggy doody, it would consist of the dog scrubbing the toilet on command.

But, back to the subject. For seven years, Russ has been saying, “Bow!” and for seven years Corky has sat, rolled over, and played dead when told to bow. However, today Russ almost had a break through. Literally.

As I sat lacing up my tennis shoes so we could take a walk around the block, Russ said, “Look! Look! I’ve figured out how to make Corky bow. Watch.”

Corky Porky’s brown eyes filled with questions as Russ held half of him in place at one end and enticed him with a treat at the other. I felt certain that would only give the dog a brain cramp and he’d never learn the trick, so went back to tying my laces. Suddenly I heard a commotion and Russ saying, “Catch me, catch me, catch me!”

I know some of you reading this are men, but I’m guessing some of you are also women. Since those are the only two genders available in life, I think I have a pretty good chance of being mostly right on that. And if so, the women in the group will understand this is not meant as an insult toward men when I say that the thought zipped through my brain that guys try to teach their dogs the strangest tricks. What man needs a dog to catch him? If Corky tried to catch Russ, he’d end up as a flat, little Corky Porky pancake.

Naturally, that mental image only took a micro second to flash through my mind, to be replaced by a feeling of unease, so I looked up to see what was happening and saw Russ stumbling head first toward the living room wall. Apparently the words, “Catch me, catch me, catch me!” were not directed to the dog after all.

I looked at Russ and looked at the wall. An ol’ spring chick like me could never get up from tying shoes in time to prevent a turtle from creeping into the wall, much less prevent Russ from becoming an interesting part of the decor. It takes 20 minutes to unkink my hips and get them working, which is one reason why I’ve never won the Utah State Belly Dancing Championships. Well, that and because I don’t look good in a veil.

Fortunately, Russ put on the brakes, and stopped within inches. He caught his balance and said, "I went to stand up and used the recliner as leverage, but it spun in a circle instead and threw me at the wall.” Only Russ could have a fight with a recliner and lose.

Russ wiped the sweat from his brow, and took a deep, calming breath. So did I. Then not knowing what else to do, but wanting to show support, I clapped my hands in appreciation for his death defying feat.

And that's when Corky Porky took a bow.

That's all there is to the story ... except now I'm thinking that for Corky's next trick, Russ should teach him how to put a roll of that new, recycled TP onto the holder.

------© C.L. (Cindy) Beck, all images © Bumblebee Photo/byTheBecks------

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Triple Nickel said...

Sounds like a painful way to teach a dog to bow. I'm better at teaching my dog to lick my plate clean. He's good at that!
Great blog.

Shirley Bahlmann said...

Ha-ha! Teach Corky to sew a tutu for Russ and hide a video camera next time! You can make serious cash with those funny home videos, you know!

Melinda said...

Well that's one way to teach a dog! Corky probably knows all along what you want him to do, he just waits for the right moment to perform.

Loretta Moshier said...

Love the story! Jim worked for years with our corgi "Dudley" to get him to sit before he was allowed to eat. Dudley though Jim was the stupidest thing on earth. Why would he want to sit when it is so much more fun to dance around and trip him?

Slamdunk said...


A+ for the creativity and humor in the dog training technique and I am glad that no humans or animals were injured during the making of this blog post.