Over the last week or so Dash has learned a bunch of new tricks. Every time I ask him to do one, I go back in my mind's eye to the times when we were training our dog and our pig.
People would come over and say "Wow! What a good looking puppy/pig!" And we would beam proudly and say, "Yes, we think so. Would you like to see him fetch/close the door/ring the bell for food/go in a litter box (the pig not the dog)?"
For a while I would catch myself teaching Dash a new trick or asking him to perform one for his Daddy (or others) and think, is this demeaning? Am I treating him like a new pet instead of a son?
And then I realized that we're learning new tricks our whole life (and constantly being asked to perform them for others). Whether it's walking, or algebra, or soccer, or union negotiations, or keeping a marriage strong and happy while caring for a newborn, we're constantly learning and growing and... performing "tricks".
So, I've come to the conclusion that I am aiding him in a life long journey toward success and understanding. And with that, I'm ok.
That said, I now would like to direct your attention to the series of videos below in which Dash performs all of his new tricks for your viewing pleasure. You're a good boy Dash! Yes, you are! Yes, you are! What a good boy!!