Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vacuum training

For perfectly good reasons, we own five vacuum cleaners. This has never struck us as gluttonous or blingy, but Dempsey objected.

At first, he was ok with the ShopVac I used to vacuum the pine cones from the lawn. He was even ok with the Mini ShopVac I used to vacuum the garage and cars. But when I pulled out the Hoover Wind Tunnel for the bedroom carpets, Dempsey growled and barked. 

I think maybe he's ok with cannister vacs, but not uprights? At any rate, regular vacuuming is very important to us, and our other three vacuums are all uprights. It was time for vaccum training!

We followed our teacher's instructions, and lined up the three upright vacuums in the room for a day without turning them on. The growling stopped after a while, but Dempsey still wouldn't approach the vacuums. So I did the obvious: I slathered peanut butter on the vacuums.

Hoover is now Dempsey's best friend. Though it's been weeks since I've slathered any peanut butter, Dempsey still comes to check. Dempsey even likes vacuuming now. When I suck up the puppy hairballs from under the chairs, Dempsey tries catching them with his paws, like a kitty would, if said kitty weren't a scaredy cat who flees at the mere the sight of a vacuum. 

The real coup de grĂ¢ce came this morning. I wanted Dempsey to go in his kennel, but he insisted he wasn't ready for a nap yet. He kept following me and Hoover around the house. But wherever he would plop down for a rest, I chose to vacuum. Dempsey wasn't afraid, but he was annoyed I kept making him move. Eventually, he got the hint, and walked into his kennel on his own for his nap!

For a believer in regular vacuuming, this is nirvana. I can't believe all the training is actually working!

I'm eager to try these training techniques on Bailey, but I suspect vacuum training the cat may not be as easy. 

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