Lessons Learned at Dog School

The second Sunday of dog training had arrived. I had purchased a leather leash for Chase because a trainer the week before had told me that would be the best. Chase developed an appetite for leather and chewed through the new leash on the short drive over to the training field. Fortunately I had arrived early and was able to call Brad to bring me a new leash. I requested a non-leather one since Chase was so fond of the first one.

I leaned up against a tree and yanked back on Chase's short tattered leash as my super smart puppy lunged at a demonic looking pit bull with icy blue eyes. The owner, a man wearing denim overalls, assured me that it was a "safe" pit bull. Yeah right. I then listened to a speech about how pit bulls were so misunderstood. How about so highly publicized EVERYWHERE as being aggressive?

Five minutes and several hundred tugs later, Chase was thirsty, so I let him drink a little directly from a bottle of Dasani water as usual. He preferred to drink directly from the bottle and refused to drink from a bowl so I stopped bothering to carry a bowl with me.

Brad finally arrived with a new leash and we walked into the classroom area and got in a semi-circle position with the other classmates. Chase promptly assumed the squat position and took the biggest dump of his life. I set the water bottle down and got a bag to clean up this steaming mountain of dog doo. The instructors had us introduce ourselves and our dogs. I discovered that, at 9 months, Chase was the youngest member of his class, which ranged from 1.5 years to 6 years. The pit bull was in the other group, which curiously contained other pit bulls, German shepherds, Dobermans, and Rottweilers. I suspected doggie profiling but was perfectly happy to stay among the labs, retrievers and Yorkies. The instructors told me not to expect much from Chase because he was so young.

First command: SIT. Chase sat. Surprise, surprise. He lacked an attention span, however, so after about 20 seconds of sitting, he dropped to the ground and started to clean his private parts. I yanked him up by the choke chain. The next time he got bored with sitting, he dropped to the ground and began to frantically dig a hole. I yanked him back up and decided to give him a drink of water. No water bottle. I looked at Brad who was holding the bottle which was now about half full. I asked Brad if he was drinking the water. He told me he was. I told him who was drinking from it earlier. Brad looked a little sick.

Next we all walked our dogs around in a big circle. Chase did fine. A large lady in front of us with tiny frou frou dog kept dragging her dog. Literally...there were drag marks in the dirt. A big strong man was coaxing "Sugar Pie" - a teeny weeny dog that looked more like a hamster with a long puffy tail. He looked at me and said that he was subbing for his mom who was the real owner of Sugar Pie. A large hound dog kept lunging at Sugar Pie - I think he was hungry. I was feeling much better about my dog's abilities after that "lesson". I threw away the chewed up leather leash on the way back to my car and smiled as Chase curled up on the back seat ready for a nap. School is tough!

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