Boot Camp Distractions

Another Sunday and once more dog manners had arrived. Mom chose to stay home and help Dad drill more holes in the kitchen ceiling where they were attempting to hang a new light fixture. It wasn’t a pretty sight or sound so Grandma, who was mostly deaf but could still apparently hear them bicker, decided to go with Chase and me. She was happy with my parking spot choice and once more decided to stay in the car. The evil pit bull was grinning at Chase and eyeing me as we walked to the waiting area.

Chase was always very exuberant when we first arrived at the class as he thought all of the dogs were his friends. The trainer suggested that I take him off the puppy chow and put him on adult dog food. She thought that might help in calming him down. If only I could see five years into the future at that time, I would clearly know it was the breed and not the puppy chow. The six-year-old from last week came over to say hello to Chase and asked me where my mother was. I guess they hit it off. Disappointed that my mother wasn’t there, she perched on the picnic table alone.

A rather large lady waddled over and pet the pit bull. She kept telling the owner in overalls how sweet pit bulls were and how it was so sad that they were so misunderstood. The pit bull agreed because she kept grinning and I swear she had those clear blue eyes rimmed with red fixated on the woman’s throat.

Our class was super small because there was no Chihuahua, the Carolina dog was MIA, Sugar Pie was gone and the other small ball of white fluff had played hooky.

First we showed off our dogs’ figure eights. Then we proved they could stand. Next we walked in a circle and followed commands like “Halt” and “About-Turn” and “Left Turn”. I felt like I was in boot camp. It also didn’t help that I cannot figure out my left from my right. Never could and this class was no exception. Then we learned a new trick. It was called the “Return”.

The best way to describe it is your dog sits facing you. Then you take his leash and by doing fancy things with it in your hand and behind your back, the dog comes to you, walks behind your back and pops up on your left side and sits. It’s like a line dance almost, which I am not good at. It took me 7 years to learn the electric slide and I still have to look at my feet! I find it works much better after a few cocktails. Too bad I didn’t have a few before the class. My dog was smart and figured it out despite my awkward footwork.

Finally, it was time to play “Distract Your Dog”. This consisted of your dog sitting next to you and watching you. The instructors would come by and try to distract the dog. Fortunately I had plenty of Cheese Nips on hand and nothing could distract Chase. He was one hundred percent focused on my pocket.

Class was over, which was a good thing because Chase was on the ground chewing on a stick and basically acting like a puppy. As we walked back to the car, I couldn’t see my grandmother and began to worry. I opened the front door and discovered that she had put the seat back and was taking a nap. So much for grandmotherly comfort and Aggressive Dog Class gossip.

Chase got into his cage and took a short snooze. I could actually hear him snore. I wondered if he was dreaming as I drove back home.

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