Tuesday, September 9, 2008

School Days

My first day of school, when I was five years old, went smoothly. Because I had been allowed to visit the school with my older brother the year before, it was not a traumatic experience. I had already been introduced to the strange ladies in the long, stinky, black costumes and knew that they were all called Sister. My first grade teacher was Sister Mary Ellen, and I think they gave her the first and second grades because she was the sweetest nun in the school. If all the nuns had been that nice, I might have done better and not been banished from the Catholic School six years later.
Last Thursday I took my new baby, Chandler, to his first day of school. He and fifteen other dogs, were all enrolled into 'The Doberman Rescue League Obedience School'. It is the same people who I used to train Molly, and she almost learned some things there. I never could teach her not to yank me around when she saw another dog. More than once, I was dragged to the ground while Molly tried to "befriend" another dog.

Our first lesson was to 'heel', followed by 'sit'. Chandler does not want to heel. He may want to sit, but not when I tell him to. After many tries, and a lot of coaxing and bribing with treats, Chandler was finally able to reproduce something that resembled what the teacher was doing with her dog. I'm sure I was as proud of my dog as my mom was the first time I came home with something written on paper that resembled the alphabet.

Over the last few days, Chandler and I have practiced his 'heeling' and 'sits', but for some reason he does not do it as well as he does in class. I am not sure what he and I will get out of these classes. If I can get him to listen when I tell him 'No!', and have him 'come' when I call him, I think I will be happy. Mark would like it if I could teach him that Mark is not a squeaky toy, and you need to put him down now.


  1. ...but Mark is a squeaky toy.

  2. This brings back memories of taking Laura's dog, Syd, to class. What a nightmare! Sweat poured off of me as I tried to get her to do just the simplest commands. (All the OTHER dogs were obeying!) How embarrassing to have the most disobedient "child" in the class! In the end, she had to take remedial classes....in other words she was left back for being difficult!

  3. yeah, but she's awesome now...13 years later.

    she likes to pick things up from the floor that I drop and hand them to me. yesterday we were eating dinner and she frantically brought me a piece of junk mail that had fallen on the floor hours earlier. I said "I only accept money for food. come back when you've got some money."

    no lie, she walked right into Dustin's closet and brought me a nickel that was on the floor and put it in my hand.

    I gave her a fork-full of salmon.

    See what puppy classes can do??? Okay maybe not just the classes...but it's a start.

  4. Sounds like Peggy could use a helper dog like laura's dog.You need to share.

  5. Syd really is almost human...just look into her eyes and watch her expressions!