Do you know how to irresistibly tempt a well-behaved pooch?
Allow me to reveal the secret by way of a story. For that, I blame the dog (as you will see).
Down the road, beyond the traffic crossing, there is a spacious house yard. A sturdy, white picket fence lines the walkway, firm in its resolve to keep you out. Guarding this yard is Buddy, the fluffy Magnadoodle, a lumberingly large, white-cotton bundle of addictive cuddle-nip.
When the sun is warm in the sky, Buddy lounges on the concrete pad in the centre of the yard, basking in the languid warmth. A drizzle finds him similarly mellow; he reclines on the porch sofa, graciously keeping it anchored to the floor where it belongs.
This is a well-behaved and dignified animal, never promiscuously seeking attention, as is the custom for most canines. And yet, what a shame this state of affairs is, in truth, because such divine cuteness must be requited with tender affection.
This is when you must call upon the arts of wily temptation, to wit:
Begin your move with a casual stroll past the yard, slowly, but deliberately, as if on some important errand. Out of the corner of your eye, you spy Buddy splayed casually out on the warm yard. You stop short, with undisguised astonishment. You turn and look at this unexpected beauty, so irresistibly alluring.
You are torn. You do not wish to embarrass this radiant being (or yourself) with your uninvited leer. Out of reluctant respect for someone’s dignity, you tear your eyes away, and walk on. You shamble forward with obvious reluctance, stealing furtive looks of longing. Your glances are noticed, but with the same indifference as a clearly superior cat.
Timing and skill matter now, more than ever, as you layer together your desire with your steely resolve to move beyond this temptation. You must convince Buddy with each step that you will soon pass out of view and reach, despite the raging flame that has been kindled. As you near the end of the fence, no more glances can be permitted. The tables of allure must be turned, or all is lost.
Five steps, four, three, then two left to go. It is just before the last visible step, that the possible loss of your sweet attention sinks in and takes root, overcoming all lethargy and disciplined restraint. The white fur pillow reluctantly rises to his feet and ambles slowly over to take a closer look. Out of politeness and curiosity, you stop and wait until he arrives. He stands sideways to the fence, angling his head up as if to signal that the next move is again yours.
This, of course, is when you manifest the blessings of your devotion. Scritch behind the ears, just so. He leans in, his tail eagerly encouraging you. He squiggles around a bit, so that your hand slides down across his back and down the soft curves of his belly. He lifts his front paws up onto the fence railing, so that you can properly hug and cuddle. He gives you a wet kiss when you do it just right.
Do not expect him to give you leave to ever depart. Should you try (as you really are running late to work), he reminds you with a gruff bark that he is nowhere near done with this connection. Uninterrupted affection is the price you must pay for having corrupted his butler-steeled resolve.
There you have it. Now you too know the Magnadoodle’s secret. Guard it well.
And lest you be under the misapprehension that Buddy seems more lazy than restrained, let me share another quick story.
We passed by his yard once in the middle of a dark (but not stormy) evening. Three young lads were in the yard with a far more energetic and devilish Buddy. You see, he had just managed to snag hold of a sock from the youngest boy, and was now playing his part in a very lopsided game of keep-away. Despite their superior numbers and larger brains, there was never any doubt of the outcome of this wild and chaotic dance.
With the sock dangling buoyantly from both sides of his jaw, Buddy managed to keep it just out of reach of six flailing arms, no matter how quickly the lads sprinted and how deviously they tried to corner this outsized fluffy pillow, as it bobbed and weaved just out of reach. They tried their best, with excited squeals and protests, but at the last, they conceded their defeat, collapsing on the lawn with gasping breath.
Hail Buddy, the Magnadoodle, Temptation’s Champion!