Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pavlov’s People

We know the experiment of Pavlov, when he rang a bell every time he fed a dog. Eventually he could make the dog salivate by ringing the bell—demonstrating animals can be trained to respond to stimulus.

We obtained a puppy this summer, and are in the perpetual process of training it to go to the bathroom outside. We hung a cowbell on the sliding glass door, so when Bailey (the dog) “rings the bell” we know to let it out.

Our home peals to the sound of:

“Clank, Clank!”
”Let the Dog out! Let the Dog out!”

The other day, my cat strolled by the bell, gave it a swat, “Clank!” and then looked at me as if to say, “Are you going to let me out, now?”

Apparently my animals believe our training is coming along nicely…

The irony is not lost on me as to how well we respond to the “ringing of the bell.” Pavlov’s dog would be proud.


  1. This so much sounds like my house. Mr. Nacho the Boston Terrier is scratching at the door to go out. Three minutes later he's scratching to get back in. We jump again. He's a tyrant, that one, and knows he has us wrapped around his smelly little paw.

  2. Ah the difference between Dog people and Cat people ;)