Day 7: Congratulations on being mediocre
August 8, 2005 § Leave a comment
Molly started her Puppy Head Start classes eight weeks ago, and Sunday was her graduation day. There were only two students total, the other being a beautiful and fluffy (and gigantic) Saint Bernard puppy named Jasper owned by a very nice couple of gentlemen.
Initially I was afraid that Molly would be a bad student. I mean, I know she’s a holy terror and all, but to actually inflict that upon others in a public setting seemed like cruel and unusual punishment. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the instructor, David, said it was perfectly normal for my piranha to attach herself to Jasper’s neck for 10 minutes.
We started doing simple commands and rewarding them with a clicker and a treat. At first I didn’t believe the power of the clicker, but now I’m a total convert. It generates a completely Pavlovian response out of her to behave and receive a treat. Even Maggie’s a sucker by association for the clicker. It got a little complicated juggling the leash, clicker, and treats. I got tired of it and finally gave in to buying the completely gay doggie-treat fanny pack. Let’s get this straight: I HATE the fanny pack.
Molly did really well with Watch Me, Sit, and Down, but god forbid she actually Stays without me holding puppy crack™ over her head. She comes when called, but will tend to run away when you actually believe she’s listening. She’s kind of potty trained, with a success rate around 75%. Thankfully there was no actual test. The instructor said they’d gotten rid of that part since no one would show up for graduation. Molly was excited to see Jasper again. During the graduation photos, though, she squealed like a stuck pig when we put the doggie cap on her head. Pitiful. As the boy said to Molly, "Congratulations on being mediocre."