Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lights Out for Earth Hour

Johann the Dog issued a challenge to all us clever dogs out there that if 100 of us learned to turn off the lights in time for Earth Hour 1000 dogs would get fed. Well, that is the kind of challenge Mommy and I like. I love learning circus tricks, but I haven't learned anything new since my toe was amputated. Mommy thought this sounded like something I could do even with my hind end being all wonky and my left paw being minus one toe. We knew I couldn't do a wall switch since I can't stand on my hind legs anymore and all the pull cord lights are in the basement, and I can't safely do the basement stairs anymore so Mommy decided I should learn to turn off the bedroom light which has a button timer on a long cord so she could put it on the ground.

We started off with Mommy standing over the timer and asking me to touch it. If I hit anywhere on the timer I got cookies! Then she got picky and told me no cookies unless I hit the button in the middle of the timer and the light turned off or on. That took more practice, but eventually I got it. Then we had to work on sending me out to touch the timer so Mommy didn't have to be right by it. We got that down and Mommy thought it was time to set up the camera. Well, when Mommy set the camera up I decided Mommy was changing the target and so I very enthusiastically touched the camera and sent it flying. You should have seen Mommy's amazing camera saving dive! I wish we had recorded that, but Mommy hadn't hit the record button before I whacked the camera. After Mommy explained to me that the camera WAS NOT the target and she wanted me to do the light trick again things went smoothly.

I have to apologize for the crazy whooping being done by Mommy. See, Mommy tried to learn how to use a clicker back when I was three years old, but she is such a klutz she couldn't get the timing down right so she went back to her "voice clicker" method which means when I am learning a trick and I do something right she say, "YES!" or "GOOD!" which works really well when I'm doing steps of a trick, but the first time I do a multi-part trick completely right on command Mommy switches to "street party" mode which means that she whoops and dances and calls me Pants Dog (which is short for Smarty Pants Dog). This makes me so happy and excited I will often repeat the trick over and over again without being asked just to see Mommy act the fool again. Anyway, be happy I edited the above clip to just the beginning of the street party.

After the first success Mommy thought she should try recording me again just in case the first one wasn't good enough so I tried a second time, but this time I didn't hit the timer quite right so the light didn't go out. I solved that problem though.

Mommy was surprised I chose to bump the light off because I'm not a big fan of bump, but it seemed like the logical thing to do. I hope all you smart dogs out there will go and pledge to learn to turn off the lights so that those 1000 dogs can get food.


ems said...

Mer, I hate to break it to you, but your mommy may have ulterior motives for teaching you to turn off/on the light.

ems said...

But don't tell her I said that.

Johann The Dog said...

Merlin that's so pawsome! You're a natural at turning off the light. Thanks for pawticipating in the Raise A Green Dog Earth Hour challenge. We're gonna post your vid to the RAGD facebook page, woot, woot!!! And thanks for spreading the word, we need more pup pawticipating to get that healthy food to the shelter pup!

Shawnee the Shepherd said...

That is a most pawsome accomplishment, Merlin. I is furry impressed! My mom does the same thing your mom does (embarrassing fur sure) but she has always trained that way. 'Sides, she would furget where she put the clicker and she tried it once and I woz skeered of it, BOL. So no more clicker.

Mileys Daily Scoop said...

Great job, Merlin! We are totally impressed and hope our mom doesn't get any ideas! BOL!!!