Bailey was my first Newfoundland and she loved to work. I taught her to bring in the paper and this was her daily job. Her ritual was to bring in the paper after breakfast, the reward was her dessert. Believe me, if I waited too long to open the door, she let me know! When the paper was late, there was no relaxing until she heard it hit the porch.
I noticed early on that Winn exhibited many of the same personality traits and this is one of the first things she learned. Since we don’t get the paper daily anymore, training opportunities were sporadic. I worked with her 3 or 4 times and it didn’t seem like she was getting it, I assumed she was too young. About a week after our last attempt, I opened the door to bring in the mail and completely unprompted, she spotted the town paper, raced down the steps and grabbed it to bring it into the kitchen. I couldn’t believe it!
14 week old Winn learns to bring in the paper:
The trouble is that once she figured out that she got treats for bringing in the paper, she began bringing me other things that she found around the house. Close to meal time, she will sneak off and find things to bring to me in hopes of getting a tasty reward.
Empty food bags or containers:
Boxes intended for recycling:
Treasures stolen from the kids’ rooms:
Water training items:
Things that I set down while doing a task (a remote, a stir stick and packing tape).
And most obviously, empty food and water bowls:
Oh, what have I done!