He didn’t look like an athlete. Or much of a he-guy anything.
Swisher was a fluffy white terrier that weighed ten pounds. And that was after he was water-logged from jumping into the kiddie pool. There may have been a papillion on his family tree, because he could flutter his ears whenever he wanted. Swisher was a handsome dog. And he knew it.
Swisher barked if he wanted to go out. He barked when he wanted to come in. He barked at dogs. He barked at people. He barked because he liked to hear himself bark.
If anyone had the bad sense not to notice him, Swisher barked. And barked. And barked. Until they did. Then, if someone approached him, he’d wag his tail and flutter his ears. But as soon as that someone went away, Swisher barked. “Where are you going? I’m not done being admired.”
Swisher’s owner wondered what to do about all of the barking.
“Swisher,” she called. “Shhh.”
But Swisher barked.
She rattled a can full of pennies. It got Swisher’s attention. And he barked.
So she brought him to The Rover Reform School for Dogs. The answer was simple. Sit. Look adorable. And get treats when you don’t bark. Lots of them.
Like a great outfielder, Swisher could catch pop ups, flies, anything hurling through the air. Preferably edible. And if the skies opened up and it rained biscuits and rawhide, they got Swishers’ undivided attention. He caught every one of them before they hit the ground.
Swisher’s owner chewed on this discovery and began to take a doggie bag wherever she went. Some days it had dog cookies in it. Sometimes liverwurst or leftover steak.
Swisher learned all of his lessons at Rover Reform. And even though he still loved a lot of fussing and fawning, he also learned to keep quiet — at least by fluffy white terrier standards. And, as far as his owner was concerned, that was something to bark about