The Graduate

In Going on walks, Learning commands, Puppy kindergarten, Training for treats on July 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I don’t think going on a walk with some long rope that limits my movements is fun. I have to wear this silly harness thing that rubs against my fur, and I can feel the pull of the leash as I try to move forward. I don’t want to go in a straight line. I don’t see the point when I can run around the backyard and don’t have to keep pace with slow mommy. I can stop and smell whatever I want to stop and smell.

The thing about going on walks is that I am expected to go straight and stay on the sidewalk and stop to sniff for a couple of minutes, not for five or 10 so that I can explore the depth of the smells, old ones on new ones. I want to figure out how popular the spot is for the dogs of our neighborhood, whether it’s a pole, bush or hydrant.

As for puppy kindergarten, I was the smallest dog in the room at four pounds and four months, so of course, I didn’t want to look at the other dogs. I wanted to go home. But mommy wasn’t reading my body language. She kept me there. I caught on to sitting and doing tricks for treats, but the spoken language was new to me. It was sounds without meaning until I saw the other dogs plop their butts on the floor and they got treats, so I decided I would do the same to collect something good.

“Sit” became an automatic response to me, because it was used more than the other commands, except for “no.” That one I learned right away, though I did not listen and follow through until it became clear I was in big trouble. I sit because I know good things will follow, like a treat, “good dog!” and pets, lots of them. Oh boy, I am a graduate.


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