If you think dogs aren’t susceptible to human marketing tactics, you’ve never had an excited rat terrier tear into your office and bark hysterically for a solid minute while you try to ignore the ice-cream truck that is two blocks over and slowly rolling your way.
Evidently Scout understands stimulus and response well enough to know that when the funny calliope music plays, Mommy is supposed to scurry out the door to get a popsicle for the dogs.
I was in Big Trouble last week when I came back with a Reese bar for Ron and a chocolate-chip sandwich cookie for myself but neglected to bring back a treat for Scout. Jason and Songdog are oblivious to the approach of the ice-cream truck, but Scout is keenly aware of the correct protocol, and my faux pas earned me the infamous Rat Terrier Glare.
I made it up to her this afternoon. After letting the truck pass once without a response, I gave in to Scout’s vociferous demands and chased it halfway down the block, catching up to it at the stop sign and panting, “I need — a popsicle — for my dog.” (The driver was amused to learn that said dog understands what that music means and is willing to throw a fit until I respond.)
Jason isn’t big on frozen treats, but Scout and Song happily shared a Bomb Pop Jr. — Song gleefully licking all the different flavors, and Scout gamely gnawing at the end. (Scout is very good at eating food off a stick — a skill she picked up at the Cozy Dog Drive-In on Route 66 in Springfield, Ill. I’ve never seen a dog eat a corn dog off a stick so fast in my life.) They even took turns without growling at each other, which I have never seen Scout do before.
Such is the magic of the ice-cream truck….