Poppy’s Story as told by Jill Robertson
Well there I was lying in my garden in the sun stretched out on my side as you do. Very peaceful. My human – most people call her Jill but when my other human wants me to go to see her he says, “Where’s Jilly” so I call her Jilly.
Anyway there I was sunbathing when Jilly came and sat down beside me so, being a polite sort of dog, I raised my head. She ignored me though so I gave in to the sunshine and flopped down again. Imagine my surprise when at that point she says ‘YES!” and gives me a treat! Well I raised my head again for that but Jilly seemed to have drifted into that human trance again so I returned to the important task of snoozing in the sunshine but as soon as my head touched the grass she shouted “YES!” again and gave me another treat! What is going on? I wondered and looked at her again for quite some time to try to work it out. Not a flicker from her though, nothing to give me a clue so eventually I returned to my original task of topping up my tan. “YES!” again as soon as my head touched the grass.
Ahah! I thought I think I’m getting this. All she wants is for me to flop down on my side. How easy is that! This time she threw the treat a little way away and I had to actually move to get it. I wandered back to her though and this time she was looking at me as if she expected me to do something so I thought I’d try sitting – humans seem to like a dog to do that. Not today though. She seemed to have lost interest in me so I flopped back down to my tanning pose. That did it! Another big “YES!” and a handful of treats scattered on the grass! So after that I was on it. Oh yes. I flopped straight back with my legs outstretched. Well that made her really happy and she gave me some chicken!!! I quite wanted to keep playing this ridiculous new game but Jilly was obviously bored and we left it at that.
However it wasn’t long before she wanted to play again. I get a sort of feeling when she wants to play these games as she always has some food on her and she sits on the floor or in this case the grass. I remembered what I had to do and tried the flopping down – BINGO! A “YES!” and a scattering of treats. As I came back to repeat she said “Bang” but I was already on my way to a flop. Result. A few more times, maybe only three, with a bang a flop and a chucked away treat and the session was all over again.
I had to wait until the next day when Jilly wanted to play again and this time she was pointing at my head with two fingers and the other two curled but then she said Bang so I knew it was flopping she wanted. I think humans think that the hand looks like a gun and that Jilly is pretending to shoot me.
So that’s how it is. All I have to do on cue is lie down flat with my legs out straight and everyone thinks I’m very cute. Main thing is sometimes I get chicken for it so I am very happy to be shot regularly. And it’s FUN!
Poppy & Jill
About the Author: Lauren Langman is responsible for the design and development of all Devon Dogs classes, events and workshops. She competes in Agility at Grade 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena. She regularly competes and wins at top agility events in the UK including Crufts and Olympia, and has represented the UK at World Agility Championship level on many occasions.