"Go get it!" Nadia pointed over to the ball, which... huh. It was quite indistinguishable among the apples around the tree trunk. The poor pup probably couldn't pick it out amongst them. With a sigh, she set off towards it. "Come on, then. Follow me."
That was something she did know! Mabel trotted along behind her merrily, and stared at the ball when they reached the tree. With a little encouragement, she was confident enough to pick it up and give it a little chew, before Nadia carefully retrieved it from her mouth.
"Good girl. See? This is a game. We will do it like this..." She made sure the pup's attention was still on the toy, and rolled it a short distance, so it was still within sight and grabbing distance. "Fetch, Mabel!"
Mabel's nose wriggled in the direction of the toy, and she began to pad over, tail held high.
She did like the toy, after all! Mabel picked it up, and then looked to Nadia, working the rubber between her jaws.
"Good girl! Fetch!" Nadia patted her thighs, hoping to encourage her to come over without using the word. It wouldn't help to get the commands too intertwined. The pup was visibly unsure, so she kept her tone inviting and friendly. "Fetch, girl! You are doing wonderfully. Fetch!"
Mabel walked back across the short distance and plopped down before her, cocking her head with confusion. Ah. Making her give it up should be easy! The woman took out a treat and showed it to the houluh, who was astoundingly quick to drop the ball in excitement.
"Good girl! Great fetch, Mabel!" For a completed fetch, she got the treat. Hopefully, with one full loop under their belt, it would be easier to make the necesary connections in the command!
A further distance, this time. Nadia picked up the ball and waved it around in front of Mabel to ensure that she was paying attention to it - now that rewards had been added into the mix, she was far more switched on and prepared for learning. That was a plus. With a smile, Nadia tossed it.
"Fetch, Mabel!" She said, but the houluh had set off on the chase before she could speak, and was skidding to a halt when the ball touched the grass again. The poor thing was still clinging to her puppy clumsiness, and tripped over herself, but managed to regain her footing and snatch the ball up. "Good! Fetch!"
Back she came with ball in tow, ready for a treat. Proud as punch, she sat in front of the woman, eyeing her expectantly.
"There's a good girl!" Another, albeit smaller, treat for a job well done.
It was a matter of repetition from there on out, as it was with all tricks. Nadia was constantly impressed with how fast houluh in particular could pick things up; they were sharp as a whip when it came to commands, and never seemed to grow tired of learning. It was an enviable trait.
As they continued along the grounds and circled back towards the mansion's door, she rolled the ball in front of her, and asked Mabel to fetch. Off the houluh would go, wagging her tail and yipping with excitement, to scoop up the toy. Upon returning it, she sat and waited for her treat. When they stopped coming after every success, she looked rather put out.
"Now, now. That was a good fetch, and you are doing well, but you have to do without treats," Nadia explained, scratching behind the pup's ears. "There we go. Isn't this nice too?"
It was time to go inside, whether Nadia was ready or not. The air was beginning to grow colder, and she found herself with a desire to be in the warm; plus, it wouldn't do to make Mabel suffer in the wind just because she'd lost her nerve. No, they would enter. What to do from there could be decided when they got to it.
At least the door was being reasonable this month. She raised her hand to knock on it, and then pushed it open - to her great relief, the hallway was perfectly ordinary. Thank goodness. It made a difference from the tricks it usually played on her. The door closed behind them both with a soft click. Mabel looked up at her with a little whine.
"Quite alright, darling, quite alright," She soothed. The atmosphere must've been confusing for a young creature. "Now, let us move on."
The first stop was just off of the main hall, where a roaring fire waited for them.
As long as the fire was contained within the grate, Nadia could tolerate it. She still wasn't thrilled, and glanced at it every so often as she made her way around the tables laden with food, but it wasn't as bad as the open bonfire of a few months ago. That had been a nightmare.
Speaking of nightmares, it appeared that there was food laid out on Mabel's level as well as her own. Another jolt of panic struck as she saw the houluh going for what looked like a bowl of stew. For goodness' sake, this would be the death of her!
"Don't eat that, Mabel!" She cried. The pup looked at her briefly, and kept reaching down - she had to physically intercept with her hands to stop the nibbling going ahead. "Don't eat that. No."
It smelled delicious, and Mabel looked less than pleased, giving an annoyed huff.
Delicious-smelling or not, Mabel couldn't go ahead and eat whatever she felt like. If Nadia had to physically get between her and random food initially, so be it! Anything to make sure she was safe and well. Losing her for a second time because of negligence would be an unimaginable agony.
"Here. How about this?" She pulled out a treat from her satchel and showed it to Mabel, who licked her lips with excitement. "Yes. This one, you can eat. Here you go."
The snack was placed on the ground in front of the dish of stew. Mabel went straight for it, familiar with the smell and the look of them, and crunched through it at her usual pace. Goodness, the treats never lasted long. Did they even taste them at that rate? She was moving on to the bowl when Nadia put her arm out again.
The importance was distinguishing the difference. The treat was familiar, recognisable, and she'd been given permission to take it - the stew hadn't come from Nadia and couldn't be definitively defined as safe. The guidance had to come from Nadia, or bad things could end up happening.
Mabel was starting to recognise the difference. When she reached forward to take another sniff at the bowl, Nadia piped up with another 'don't eat that', and she backed off, albeit with visible reluctance. It smelled so good. It wasn't fair!
"I know, I know," She said in sympathy as she got out another treat. It was placed on the floor in front of her, within snout's reach. When the pup inevitably reached for it, Nadia blocked it with her hand. "Don't eat that."
That wasn't fair! Mabel barked and shook her head, confused by the command, and plopped down onto her backside. After that small tantrum was over, the hand moved. Could she...?
"Yes, Mabel. Eat up," Nadia gestured at the treat, and with the encouragement, Mabel was happy to go for it.
Good. Good, that was an improvement - Mabel was beginning to understand what Nadia's encouragement meant. If she could comprehend when she was being given permission and when she was not, there would be little concern about her getting undesirable snacking habits.
Her own tummy began to rumble at the scent of stewed meat, however. Be quiet, great betrayer.
"One more try, hm?" Another smaller treat was laid down near to the bowl. Encouragingly, Mabel did not go for either thing straight away; she watched Nadia with wide eyes, and her tailtip quivered, but she was rather still otherwise. "Don't eat that."
It was taking a great deal of her self control, Nadia could tell that much. The houluh was concetrating hard. A short period was satisfactory enough, and then the pup got the nod to go ahead and eat it.
"Very good girl, Mabel!" She stroked her back as she munched the snack. "Excellent work."
While they were in the dining room... there were some very nice looking chairs at the table. Nadia would've thought it quite rude to allow her pets to jump onto furniture in any house that wasn't hers in any other circumstance, but given that the mansion appeared ownerless and more like an entity of its own... well. She silently asked its forgiveness before pulling a chair out.
"This will be a fun one, Mabel, I promise," She said. The houluh cocked her head and gave an uncertain tail wag. "You'll see. Here we go."
There was no more graceful way to ask for the desired behaviour than to pat the seat and hope the pup would understand.
"Sit up, Mabel! Sit up!" She cooed, tapping against the fabric with her nails to make an interesting sound. Mabel stared at it, her ears twitching. "Yes, here! Sit up! You can do it!"
Mabel wasn't sure. She investigated the sound as far as she could reach, but it was a little far to do it from the ground... she hopped up onto her back legs, resting her forepaws on the edge of the seat.
"Yes, good! Good girl, Mabel!" The small step towards progress was rewarded with enthusiastic head pats and verbal praise. "A little more! Sit up!"
It didn't appear like she knew what she was meant to do after that step. While she didn't back down, she didn't make a move to jump up, either. It looked like it was time for a treat as a guide and motivator! Nadia pulled one out of her satchel and held it just out of the pup's reach, further over on the seat.
"Sit up, Mabel! You can do it!" The pup hopped around the side of the chair, giving a frustrated whine when she couldn't grab it.
Mabel huffed through her nose. Why couldn't she have the treat? With one final leap, she scrabbled up onto the seat - the floor was a bit of a way down now, and that was scary! As she stood on it, she whined a little, looking at Nadia for comfort.
"Yes, good girl! Good girl! Now, sit up," Nadia said, making sure to emphasize the command she already knew to make what she wanted more clear without losing the new meaning. Without hesitation, the pup sat. "Oh, excellent! What a clever little thing you are! Here you go, my darling girl."
With the treat demolished, they could try again. Instead of forcing her to get down by herself, Nadia lifted the houluh down onto the ground. They could work on that in stages, because it was a different skill entirely! She didn't want to overwhelm the poor dear too much in one go.
Now, to try again. With a smaller treat. Nadia always felt mean for reducing the reward as time went on, but she supposed it was important for their development. If they relied too much on the promise of tangible prizes, it would be hard to motivate them for other reasons.
"Here we go. Sit up, Mabel! Sit up!" The jump up on to the chair would be less scary the second time. Mabel watched the treat with mild annoyance, wishing it would just come down to her, but she wasn't shy of hard work. With greater confidence, she hopped herself up onto the seat and stood there. The expectant stare made Nadia laugh.
"Almost! Almost there, girl. Sit up," She repeated. The houluh looked confused - she was on the chair, wasn't she? The quizzical looks continued, and she circled on the seat as best she could before finally taking a hint and sitting down. Ah, there was the treat! "There we go! Good girl!"
Silver: I use google docs for everything now because of stuff like that.
Sept 17, 2023 18:01:49 GMT -6
Riku: I had like 20 tabs open to eventually go through to add up all my character levels and copy/paste all my stuff/pets into my registry thread. When chrome updated all the tabs were gone. Oh well…
Sept 17, 2023 11:45:28 GMT -6
Riku: Muahaha! And you almost got away with it, too.
Sept 17, 2023 11:09:32 GMT -6
Silver: Oops looks like I deleted you two at the end when making an edit, fixing now!
Sept 17, 2023 5:16:05 GMT -6
Xentus: ah am i missing from the show ring?
Sept 17, 2023 2:15:25 GMT -6
Skylos: Oooh, this time I have an acid pet.
Sept 16, 2023 22:27:02 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oh, good point, thanks for the reminder! :0 Gotta pick out something special for my characters, hmmmm
Sept 16, 2023 21:21:34 GMT -6
Silver: Show Ring is up! Reminder: October is Vai Min Mur and therefore a special contest! Train your shadow and acid pets in preparation. :3
Sept 16, 2023 21:14:38 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for this allowing the change in prizes Silver, even if it was forgotten by mistake, I am very happy to get the opportunity for this particular Estharne type. <3
Sept 14, 2023 0:17:37 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Oh yes please! Thanks for this information Silver! <3 I would need to contact the npc account then?
Sept 14, 2023 0:00:16 GMT -6
Silver: (I said 'we' a bunch of times but it was totes just me that forgot it. Oops.)
Sept 13, 2023 23:55:16 GMT -6
Silver: Hey Twilight if you want to make a change to how you spent your points now that the River is available, please DM staff. We know we messed up by forgetting to include it so if you want it more than something else you bought we could swap for you.
Sept 13, 2023 23:54:40 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I can throw in the Pasha-Sarane Searhorse as well.
Sept 13, 2023 23:43:07 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Is there any chance I could buy the river Estharne for 20 usd from someone? I lost the opportunity to get one last year when I forgot to buy one from the Trepuldra.
Sept 13, 2023 23:41:08 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Now I wish I had saved some points. ;-;
Sept 13, 2023 23:33:59 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Uggggggh I wish I would've been active a month ago x-x
Sept 13, 2023 22:16:38 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: We have a gorgeous addition to the Summer Fair prize shop- the river tiger estharne!
Sept 13, 2023 19:35:08 GMT -6
Riku: I really didn’t expect to get my two favorites of this cross. One, sure. But both? Perfect!
Sept 9, 2023 14:22:59 GMT -6
Darky: It was a fun prompt but MAN did I struggle trying to figure out how to make it actually x3
Sept 7, 2023 2:04:09 GMT -6