Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Well it's official...

My dog has flunked Obedience Training 101. Flunked with a very loud Ker-plunk. Eight weeks of classes, constant instruction at home and out of six final tests he failed four. Well OK he passed two. And I thought he was doing well. We went to the pet store before class and everyone commented on what a wonderful puppy he was. Maybe I overshot and used up all of that polite decorum he displayed at Pet Smart only to flounder on THE BIG TEST.

"Compliance, subordination, submission and conformity. A bending to the authority or control of another". That is the Official Webster's Dictionary definition of Obedience. When I read it I had to laugh a little ruefully at myself. These are all the things I have fought against for most of my life. Why wouldn't I be attracted to a pup who shares those same sentiments? 

In his ten months here on this earth he has managed to wiggle himself into my heart. Even the six year old Dal begrudgingly accepts that he is here to stay. He walks well on the leash, loves the car, does a hell of a sit-stay. And he smiles. With every tooth in his spotted head.

So we won't make the Eukenuba championships this year. But he is becoming proficient at catching a Frisbee. I always wanted a dog that did that. Already I've made the decision to re-enroll him in "pre-school" this fall. Along the way I found that I love to work with dogs - side by side. The folks at the 4-H Club are amazing. Conscious, strict yet kind - the trainers truly care about a quality outcome for your pet.

The ego sting may have resulted from that memory of failing algebra in the 8th grade. That aside, I did learn to do the math and became a pretty decent designer in spite of the stumble. Maybe there's hope for the boy yet. After all - who wants an Auto-tron dog when they can have one with a sense of enthusiasm and adventure? A sense of exploration and verve? A sense of ....well maybe - how about good blend of all of those qualities, including just a little bit of obedience.

And maybe the ability to stay away from my shoes.

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