Literally, he bounded into the back of my car eager for an outing. There’s something disconcerting having such a large being in the back. Please may there be no road-rage, drunken, texting, drivers out there while I am, I thought. I eased forward the way I did when we first placed our son in his car seat: slowly; aware of every oncoming, turning or backing up vehicle; frequently glancing in the rear view mirror while talking, cooing, reassuring. We ventured up the street a half mile and back again.
Figuratively, Sir T circled and settled in as soon as we left the driveway. He popped up to a sit, though, during my spectacularly slow 180. His head filled the entire rear view mirror. “Lie down,” I said to his reflection in my firm yet friendly alpha voice. Those solemn eyes drooped a bit more in the mirror. “Down,” I repeated in my sterner alpha voice. “Tommy. Lie down.”
That last one was in my Hey, whose alpha here? voice. Still seated. Still staring back at me with pleading, “Not sure what you mean” eyes, which could also be interpreted as “Not much room back here – you don’t actually mean lie-down, lie-down, do you?”
I mentioned it to the trainer upon return (after Sir T admittedly maintained an impressive “Wait,” the back of the station wagon open, all those other dogs and fields tempting him to leap down). The trainer said he knows the Lie Down command, the back of my car was not too small for him, and his hearing is fine. Seems I was taken for a ride.
Seems we’ve a bit more work to do.