Yesterday I was waiting for Lion to contact me prior to noon. The thought occurred to me that he may try to test me, but I didn’t really think that was a possibility. He’s a good boy. At 10:49 am he sent an email. It said, in part, that he was tempted not to send a message so that he could be punished. Hmm…. Maybe he’s not such a good boy after all. He asked what I would have done if he hadn’t written. My thought was that if I told him ahead of time he may weigh the consequences and decide if it was worth it to purposely disobey me. If he knows there will be four hard swats and he hasn’t been swatted in a while he may decide that the attention of the swats is worth misbehaving for. Not that he’d do that, but I didn’t think he be tempted not to send a message just to see what the punishment would be. He said he was more interested in what I planned to do and maybe get a demonstration.
Unfortunately for Lion, I don’t have an answer. The most I can say is that I need to hear the reason why he broke the rule. If he truly was swamped at work and didn’t have time to catch his breath between meetings, then I would give him a few swats. It wasn’t necessarily his fault but rules must be enforced. If he just decided not to contact me because he wanted to be punished, then I would add a day or two to his wait time, or I would ignore him on a day I would normally play with him. I don’t think it would be fair to have one punishment for it.
The punishment should fit the crime. If he simply forgets, then my job is to help him remember. A few swats should do it unless it becomes a chronic problem. If he does it on purpose, then it’s my job to make sure he realizes this is not a game. Willful disobedience will not be tolerated. And this is true for all rules. If I get the slightest inkling he is dropping food on purpose, the punishment will be more severe. I do have some nasty, nasty paddles at my disposal and I’m not afraid to use them. And if those paddles don’t deter him, I have my eye on one that may be more effective. Of course, ignoring him will be his most hated punishment and I will use it as I see fit.
Notice has now been served. Lion wanted to feel my power. He may get more than he bargained for.
[Lion — Wow! This is exactly what I hoped would happen. Mrs. Lion is right. I don’t willfully disobey, at least so far.]