By Georgie Gurl
I’ve never doubted that my humans love me very much. But just because someone loves you, doesn’t mean they necessarily understand you.
And I don’t care if you’re a dog or a human. Being understood is something we all crave very much. In fact, sometimes, it’s even more important than being loved.
When I met my humans for the first time, it was like any great love affair. I loved their salty faces and stinky shoes. They loved my soft fur and puppy breath. And we all lived happily ever after.
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t quite that simple. Actually, we all DID fall in fantastic love with each other. But as the days turned into weeks that turned into months that turned into years, it became clear that we didn’t entirely understand one another.
I kept hearing the same disappointing words coming out of their mouths.
And my least favorite two words in the world: “NO, GEORGIE!”
It was excruciating to hear. It was also incredibly frustrating. My crime, you see, was something I simply can’t help. I’m a jumper.
Someone Like Me
I once saw a brilliant movie called “Winnie the Pooh”that featured someone just like me. His name was Tigger and he was a beautiful shade of orange. He lived inside a piece of wood that stretched for 100 acres, and he loved to jump too.
His human, Christopher Robin, was totally awesome about it. In fact, he had no issue with the jumping at all — and neither did Tigger’s friends, at least most of the time.
I still remember Tigger singing about his jumping talent. How he was “bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy” and “fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.”
“But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is I’m the only one!”
When I was little, I would sing that song over and over inside my head and fantasize about meeting this Tigger creature. I knew if I could go find him in the woods, at least he would understand me.
“Hey Tigger! Guess what? You’re not the only the one,” I imagined telling him. “I’m bouncy and trouncy too!”
Unfortunately, my neighborhood in Jurassic Park, Florida is really far from where this guy Tigger lives. And as time wore on, I realized my fantasy bounce meeting probably wasn’t going to happen.
In the meantime, my humans did just about everything they could to try and break me of the “bad habit,” as they called it.
Human 1 liked to stand on my leash, so when I would try and jump, I couldn’t move.
It was such a strange sensation. I’d see a really cool and lickable neighbor approach, and every excited muscle in my beautiful fuzzy body would contract — and then BLAM! No jump! It was like I stuck in quicksand. I couldn’t even move one centimeter in a vertical direction.
Human 1 always seemed nervous when they did this and would try to explain it to the confused neighbor. “Um, sorry. We’re trying to break her of this bad jumping habit.”
Oh yeah? Why don’t we talk about your bad habits! Last night’s cookie binge, maybe? Yeah, I thought not.
Human 2’s strategy wasn’t any better. They’d simply hand my leash over to Human 1 while shouting: “Do something!”
Sometimes, they’d talk about my “jumping habit” right in front of other people, as if I wasn’t even there. They’d ask them how they stopped their dogs from jumping and if they knew of any trainers. I’d just sit there rolling my big, brown eyes.
And then, when they shifted a foot off my leash, I’d jump on whomever was closest. I. Just. Couldn’t. Help. It.
Must. Leap. For joy! YEE HAW!!!!! WHOOOO HOOO!
I could have told them the trainers were a waste of money. One said she would fix my jumping with clickers and treats. Oh really? Jumping is better than both, I promise you that, and I will never stop. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
The other “professional” said I was “broken” and “untrainable.”
At one point, they decided to try and stop my jumping by making me wear a special harness that resembled a strait jacket. Fortunately, I talked to my best friend, Nellie, and she helped me chew it off my body. Love ya, girl! Everyone needs a do-or-die friend like Nellie.
Coming to Terms
Sadly, this battle continued on for some time, until something sort of miraculous happened. They stopped trying to change me. And they accepted my jumping.
The first time I noticed it was on a glorious Saturday morning when we were walking around a farmer’s market. Like usual, tons of people were attracted to my beauty and wanted to get close to me and pat my incredibly soft fur.
In the old days, my humans would stand on the leash, or hurry away, sobbing uncontrollably. Just kidding. They never really cried over my jumping.
But this time … they showed me that they truly understood what makes me me.
“Can I pet her?” the admiring stranger asked.
“Of course,” my human replied. “But just so you know, she’s a jumper and she will jump on you. It’s called the ‘Wheatin’ Greetin’ and it’s something all Wheatens do. It’s just who they are.”