Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Art of Animal Twaining

Recently, The Associated Press, reported a donkey who was jailed for acting like an ass. It seems that, Blacky, was incarcerated for three days for biting and kicking two men near a ranch in Mexico. There was no mention of how far he had kicked them. The men said all of a sudden, the donkey was on top of them like it was rabid. What the story neglected to say was what the men did to provoke the poor Equus Asinus. Really, what would anger a donkey to the point of needing a half-dozen men to control him? Maybe Blacky is just in need of some training. Obviously, the men were ignorant of the importance of treats in training.
I grew up in a farm atmosphere, not in the mid-west, but  in the San Fernando Valley. When people ask me if I was raised in a barn, I can proudly say…yes. We had a goat that would dash into the house when  someone opened the back door. He would race to the living room and jump on the couch. My mother would scream,“get that goat off my couch!” I don't know why she got so upset.
I had a pet chicken named, Pee Wee. She snuck in the house whenever she had the chance too. Although they were not house-trained, heh, they were like family and I took pride in my training techniques. I was quite proficient in the reward technique and was an expert in handling excitable livestock.
Not once, were any of our animals jailed although we did have a dog who loved to kill chickens. My father had a fail-proof training technique for AJ (short for alligator jaws), even though some people might think it inhumane. He tied one of the dead chickens to the AJ’s neck and left it to rot for a few days. Sad to say, AJ just ended up being a stinky chicken killer. Then came that sad day when AJ was taken to live at a chicken-free residence a few blocks away.
I used to walk the long way to school just to visit him. I would pet his short black fur through a chain link fence and he always seemed so happy to see me. For months I would take him a few doggy biscuits and tell him how sorry I was that he couldn’t live with us anymore. That is, until the day I was horrified to see the dead mailman tied to his neck.


  1. Fun post. You really got me at the end.

    1. Was it the mailman that made you doubt? I really did have all those animals when I was growing up. ;-)