Don't Hit Your Dog With a 2x4

Mom and Grandma accompanied me once more to witness Chase and me behaving ourselves in dog class. Grandma was especially pleased when I found a parking space right up front so she wouldn’t have to actually leave the car. Mom helped Chase out of the back of the car while I got myself organized. As I walked over to take Chase from her, I noticed that Mom was doing a crazy little Riverdance routine in the middle of the parking area.

Apparently she had been waiting patiently on a fire ant hill.

I took the dog and walked over to the waiting area, leaving my mother to the fire ants. The demonic icy-blue-eyed pit bull was already there and she was grinning. Did you know that pit bulls could grin? Well, they can. Probably happy to see more selections on the menu to attack. Her owner was there as well in his usual attire of overalls and a white t-shirt.

Mom walked up to me. She told me that she stopped the fire ants from crawling up her leg. I looked down and was horrified to see that she had pulled her white socks up over her black pant legs! This was almost as bad as the time I introduced her to someone and she had tucked her shirt into her underwear! Chase and I slowly eased away from “Knicker Mom” and found a relatively normal dog owner to chat with. Mom moved on to ask the trainer if a 2 by 4 board worked well in dog training. The trainer looked startled but another owner with my mother’s unusual sense of humor volunteered that it worked best with a nail in the end.

I pretended to ignore my mother and walked into the classroom area. Chase did not drag me this time. Instead he tried to sniff his way, which is apparently a doggie no-no so I now need to teach him the “No Sniff” command. Good thing he was neutered.

The lesson du jour was a figure eight. This is how it worked: two owners with their dogs pretended to be poles. The dog and owner doing the figure eight stood in the center and then wove around the “poles” in a figure eight pattern. My nine month old puppy was up first and I was super proud that he did it perfectly. Most of the dogs did it well with the exception of the Chihuahua drag marks in the dirt. Even Matilda, who now had a fancy S&M collar in a larger model, was behaving herself. I heard my mother’s voice close by. She apparently found me and was now chatting on the picnic table with an audience more her own age: a six-year-old and a twelve-year-old. To my dismay, her pants were still tucked into her socks. The kids didn’t seem to mind. I hope she didn’t start a new fashion trend.

Next up was to get your dog to stand.

This seemed easy in theory but we had been telling our dogs to “Sit” or “Down” when they had been standing perfectly fine in the beginning. Now try to get them to stand. I told Chase to stand. He looked at me and sat. I told him again. He lay down. It wasn’t just me. Soon everyone was hauling their dogs up and I was extremely grateful that Chase weighed merely 32 pounds!

As we left, our instructors reminded us once again of the three P’s”: Practice, Patience, and Praise! They may add another one soon: Please don’t hit your dog with a 2 by 4!

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