29 November 2012

The problem with Sea Lions-a training tutorial.

I'm not sure how many of you have to deal with Sea Lions on a daily basis. Here's a tutorial in case your biggest nemesis is something else along the lines of the Talking Moose or Scary Badger or Creepy Lady with Shovel. Did you know that Sea Lions are not Seals? Sea Lions have little ears, not just holes, and the long flippers. You got that, right? Ears, big flippers, it's a lion. Holes, little flippers, it's just seal. We see mostly Lions in these here parts.

OK, majestic marine mammal majesty and grace and so forth, but really, the problem we have with them is that Otterpop hates them, and frequently, when they're dead, Gustavo rolls in them. The other little nickname we have for Sea Lion is Carcass. The problem with Carcass, is that when Carcass turns out to actually be, Sea Lion, he or she has large, mean, chomping teeth and he or she can move very, very quickly on those long not short flippers to eat mean little loudmouthed dogs. And the problem with Sea Lion is that when Sea Lion turns out to be, actually, Carcass, is that when a dog rolls in Carcass's rotting flesh, or potentially eats a bit of rotting flesh, really, really gross, and no dogs are allowed in the car who have rolled in Carcass.

So we have a fun little thing we do. When we see Carcass, we pretend it's Sea Lion and everybody has to lay down by it. You are not allowed to bark at Carcass, you are not allowed to get up and roll in carcass, you have to lay down next to it and be stayed until it is time to not be stayed. We haven't yet practiced for Carcass on Sea Lion, because this training so far hasn't worked and every time it's actually Sea Lion I am busy yelling, "NO NO NO NO OTTERPOP NO!" and running away really fast.

Long flippers, people.

Pretending and staying is boring and sucks. Because the longer you are stayed there, the more you want to BARK at it if you're Otterpop.

And if you're Gustavo, you probably want to roll in it but you actually might be ascared of it too! Oh NO! Poor Gustavo. And then once he figures out Carcass is dead Sea Lion, he is all bummed out because, YIKES, existential awareness of one's own death, and he wants to cry, poor little guy. But don't worry, there were treats involved. For the dogs, not Carcass. Treats that were not rotting portions of Carcass skin. This helps for the sadness and the hatred of Carcasses old life as Sea Lion.

The idea is, that someday we do this enough and when it is actually Sea Lion, everyone lays down and is not barking. Hopefully not too close to teeth. After we have run far enough away out of long flipper range. And that when it's just Carcass, everyone automatically thinks, OH! Carcass! Lay Down. So far, no one thinks this but life is long and there are a lot of Sea Lions out there, waiting for us, dead and alive on the shore.

Good luck with your Sea Lion training!

P.S. I do have the marine mammal hospital in my phone and when it is Sea Lion and maybe is sick I call them and tell them and sometimes they come to the rescue. Not such a cold black heart as you thought.


Sobaka said...

Have to admit, this is a challenge I have never faced. At least it is large enough to spot at a distance. And if carcass rolling does occur, there is always the sea for a pre-wash. Hey, that might be a deterrent! You roll in carcass, you get swished around in the icy waves. Your idea is good too though.

Karissa said...

I shall now stop marveling over the dead deer we found on a walk. Deer carcass is nothing compared to sea lion carcass....

CJ said...

Dead carp and dead skunk have nothing on Carcass (though dead skunk inspired 120km driving in a 60km zone to get home for a bath). I will stop moaning about bunnies & squirrels as distractions, as they don't find my dog as edible as sea lion might.

Claire Krigbaum said...

You are hilarious, thank you.