Welcome back…this is the second installment of seven

In case you missed the previous entry, click here.

To start from the beginning, click here.

SECOND AGE:  …”the whining school-boy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school”…

Nick seemed to think he could have things his way,

Like we were his toys with which he could play,

And despite all my efforts to have him conform,

His adherence to rules remained somewhat lukewarm.

So one day I decided, “That’s it!  No more foolin’!”

The time has arrived to get Niki some schoolin’,

It is I who’s the kingpin; it is I who will rule:

Let’s see how he fares at Obedience School!”

And that’s how I changed things; we showed up for class

With one goal in mind: that Niki would pass…

For training you see, is a challenging session,

But I was determined to make an impression…

The instructor called out, “May I have your attention;

It’s important that every pet follows convention!

Praise and reward are the paths we will follow,

To your pet, you’re the master, you must act like Apollo!”

Apollo? Did he mean we should shoot for the stars?

Was training like landing a spaceship on Mars?

Whatever he meant, it seemed rather extreme,

Perhaps this would be an impossible dream…

My first mission then ,was get Nicky to stay

In a sitting position, as I walked away;

Though the concept seemed easy, Niki simply refused,

In a matter of moments, I was dazed and confused…

“Praise and reward,” the instructor repeated,

One step at a time and you won’t feel defeated!

I’m an expert, I know, there’s just two ways to reach ’em,

With a pat on the head and a treat – that’ll teach ’em!”

Well, Nick must have heard this and seemed willing to try,

He would do the unthinkable; he would reach for the sky…


The moon for that matter, he had plotted his course,

Where he’d be the pilot and I’d be his ‘source’,

Thus each step for dog meant one treat from the ‘man’,

Even a dough-head could sniff out Nick’s plan…

He was playing it dumb, taking me for the fool,

While leading me on, thinking he was Joe Cool…


I then changed my approach: intermittent rewarding,

Which caused Niki  to think: ‘Is he giving or hoarding?’

By the end of that first day, my boy was a hit,

For he’d learned how to stay, how to come, how to sit;

When I thought it was time, out would pop the reward,

Niki learned there was no time to pretend he was bored…

And with each passing day he got faster and faster

At learning the tricks of the trade, he would master,

But the best thing by far – one that sure turned the tide,

Was the moment he learned he must take ‘it’ outside!

To this day…

We’re amazed at this special dog’s prowess,

His fast-learning antics sure awed us and wowed us,

For Nick could adopt every trick in the manual,

Due to the fact he was Poodle and Spaniel…

Like most dogs on earth who have so-so credentials,

Niki would pick up quite quick the essentials

Of catching and fetching and coming when ordered,

And when I felt the time right, he was duly rewarded.

The most challenging deeds, though, took more time to master,

In spite of the pay-outs, there was always disaster,

But Niki persisted, he was patient and prudent,

He had a passion for learning and became an A student…

With experience in hand and confidence gaining

Nick added humour to his everyday training,

I suppose it was his way to make things worthwhile,

But I know why he did it – to make everyone smile…


One of his funniest routines had to be

When he played dead, (I’d shoot him), and he’d peek up at me,

He lay lifeless for seconds, then his one eye would open,

As to say “Am I finished?”, a reward he was hopin’…

Another performance that brought us great cheer,

He could sing Happy Birthday and Happy New Year,

The candles or sparklers would give him his cue,

And he’d join in and sing “Happy Birthday To You!”

Of course, that sounds silly, for dogs cannot sing,

In Nick’s case it was more of a loud, barking thing,

But he managed the cadence and stayed right on key,

How I loved it when Nick sang Happy Birthday to me…


Our most memorable times, which made everyone laugh,

Were his visits to classrooms to show off his math,

Yes, Niki, like Euclid, a true brainer at heart,

Knew all the right angles of playing the part…

“Boys and girls,” I’d announce, “Give Niki a problem,

He can do operations and I promise he’ll solve ’em”,

So someone might shout out, “What’s 10 minus 2?”

To which, (from his training), he knew what to do…

“Nick, look at me!” I would gain his attention,

(Together we’d mapped out our act of deception),

He’d stare at my fingers, get himself in the ‘groove’,

And bark every time that my index I’d move.

“The question, my boy, is 10 minus 2!

May we please have your answer my wise Cockapoo!”

Well, the classroom fell silent, everyone thought it great

When Nick solved the problem by barking out eight…

The kids were befuddled; they thought he was guessing

And would call out for more before giving their blessing…

“12 divided by 3?” someone called from the back,

Nick yelped out, “It’s 4!” and survived the attack,

Even the teachers were downright impressed;

Just like their students, they thought Nick had guessed,

But they took the advantage, “Do you see class, the fact is

We can all learn our numbers, but first, we must practise!”

“He can spell too,” I added, but the doubters were few,

Once again, this was showbiz, Niki knew what to do..

Now the secret to this wasn’t hard as you think,

I had trained Nick to bark once every time that I’d blink…

“Spell Mississippi!” some know-it all quipped,

Nick barked out eleven, not one letter skipped,

“Good boy!” I exclaimed and I gave Nick his treat,

“There’s no one in school who this dog cannot beat”..

“That was barking, not talking!” little Johnny piped in,

“Well, that’s true,” I said, trying to stifle a grin,

“Just remember,” I explained to those kids in a fog,

I’m his translator! Only I can speak dog!”

The kids always bought it and they took each occasion

To praise Niki, their hero, with a standing ovation…

And assured us that homework would be done without fail,

‘Tricky Nick’ earned his title from this part of our tale…

***See you again on Feb. 4


One thought on “TRICKY NIKI POOPIE BUTT… #2

  1. Pingback: TRICKY NIKI POOPIE BUTT #3 | bloggingfrog

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