Henry won’t talk to Nikko

Henry is my perfectly lovely, best-dog-I ever-had-English Setter. Nikko is the perfectly lovely, best-non-barking-neighbor-dog-I- ever-had Husky. Henry and Nikko won’t talk. It’s Henry’s fault. Nikko comes to the fence, and Henry ignores him. Never looks at him. Won’t give him the time of day. Hey, perfectly lovely setter dog, what’s up with that?!

So I ask myself the same kind of questions I would ask about a non-responsive social media audience. Is Henry shy? Is he fearful? Is he just a plain snob? Is he more interested in other things? Ah-ha. Wait a minute. There may be something I can do with “more interested in other things.”

You see, Henry is a bird dog. I know this by his breed and his behavior. He is more interested in birds. He’s also a mama’s boy, and is more interested in me. (Even as I draft this right now on my patio, Henry sits close by me while Nikko “Tigger-jumps” all over his own backyard, occasionally making it back over to the fence to see if he’s gotten Henry’s attention. No wait, now Henry is setting a bird, or a squirrel, or a shadow – I’m not sure.) Anyway, my advice to Nikko, or to any brand who wants to get Henry’s attention:

  • Tell Henry there is a bird he might like over here. Or a squirrel. Or a light reflection. Or that the deer were just here last night. You should know what Henry likes, and build on that.
  • Tell Henry you saw him poking that possum playing possum the other night and you thought he did a really great job. Congrats on that, Henry!
  • Ask Henry his favorite kind of bird.
  • Ask Henry about his mama.
  • Ask Henry what in the world he is barking about incessantly in the woods behind your houses.
  • Comment on the evil Postman, UPS man, or person jogging by on the sidewalk.
  • Offer Henry a trip to the beach with his mama (and one other guest which will probably be his daddy because he takes him on spectacularly long walks. And now Nikko knows about the walks.)
  • Give Henry the opportunity to take a poll on his favorite birds.
  • Find out what Henry does when he’s not setting birds in the backyard, when he’s out of your field of vision.

The next thing you know, Henry might just talk to Nikko, or at least listen to what Nikko has to say even if he doesn’t respond:

  • No, I’m still not coming down to the fence to visit with you, but I’ll see what you have to say to me.
  • Hey Nikko. I know you were busy having to stay in your crate all day while your mama works, so let me tell you what happened in my big backyard.
  • Did you hear that turkey in the woods? That’s what I was barking about!
  • Look at my cool pink ball! Betcha didn’t know I like to bury it so my mama can’t find it! (But now Nikko knows.)
  • I jump through hoops for an audience. Literally. Didn’t you ever see me? (Now Nikko may pay more attention.)
  • What else you got over there, Nikko, that I might be interested in? Any more trips to the beach? Did you know I like the mountains, too?

And so it goes. And now at least Nikko has a sporting chance to know Henry better, to talk to him, and to show him some things he would be interested in. And Nikko should take this opportunity now to talk to about birding, and bird equipment, and bird behavior, and how handsome Henry looks setting that bird. And then, just like any caring friend, Nikko should remember to ask Henry, every once in a while, “how’s your mama?”


One Response to “Henry won’t talk to Nikko”

  1. Chuck Jones Says:

    This is funny stuff! Poor Nikko. He keeps trying. He’s trying right now. Henry…same old…

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