I have numerous tactics I use when trying to get attention from my mum and dad. Being a celebrity (not to mention a Dachshund!), I demand they meet a certain threshold of attention-giving. I realize it sometimes may be hard to meet, and other times damn near impossible, but I appreciate the effort they put.
Let’s start with the basics. This is what they call the Mickey Mouse Hop. So for instance, if mum and dad are on the couch and not looking at me, I will hop up and down, making a little whine each time. They say I look like Mickey Mouse when my ears flap up. This is what I call passive interruption. It’s just enough to subtly bother them while they try to do something else, like watch TV. Yet, if that doesn’t work, no worries – I have a few more tricks.
For step 2, I will take a ball or squeaky-face and hop up on the couch. I’ll settle in on one of their laps and squeak it continuously so they can’t hear whatever junk they’re watching on tv (unless its Caeser- I like him).
If that doesn’t work, I’ll take my ball and stuff it between the cushions of the couch and then dig at it. This is a very effective tactic for attention since they will immediately respond to protect the couch from my two front shovel machines. Once they reach in and get the ball, I’m already halfway down the hall waiting for them to throw it. They would feel bad not to at this point – so bingo, there’s one play. But of course, that’s never enough.
But sometimes it’s not always easy. I have to get creative. In certain circumstances, I’ll wander off, going from room to room, just looking very suspicious. They’ll usually notice this behaviour and then come check what im doing. Now I toss the ball towards them and put on the ol’ puppy eyes. Works like a charm.
If I’m really not getting the commitment I want from them, it’s time to try a different toy. I’ll go to my toy stockpile and choose a different one. Might be bigger, furrier, or more squeaky. I’ll bring this one over to them and see if I get a different reaction. They might play with me and that toy for a bit, but once it wears off I’ll go and trade it for another one again. I have enough to choose from to keep this process going a long time…
Once I get desperate enough, its time for the big guns. They know what this one is – the rubber chicken. It’s the loudest, most obnoxious toy there is, and sure to get their undivided attention. In fact when my mum bought it, the store clerk said, “are you sure you want to buy this? Everyone who buys this for their dog brings it back saying their dog is scared of it”. My mum said, “don’t worry, I won’t be returning it…”
And she didn’t, but I think she regrets that purchase a little.
Now don’t get my mum and dad wrong, I have to give them credit. They take me on a lot of expeditions and play with me a lot. But you see, I want to play 24/7, so these tactics are ongoing, all the time. Even when my mum and dad are trying to fall asleep I’m still trying to squeeze out the last bit of playtime. I love to lie on daddy and squeak the toy in his ear. He loves that.