Last year, I started doing a project in my classes where the students were able to spend about 20% of our time learning about whatever they wanted and designing their own projects. I did the project along with them and made a quilt. It was great! (The project was great. My quilt was sad-looking but I was still proud of it.)
This year, my project was Percy. I thought I might work on training him so that maybe, someday, he would be a therapy dog and help out my kids. I know it will be a few years but he needs to be trained. This will be great! It will be awesome! I can be efficient and train my boy at the same time I am showing my students that we should always learn! (In September, I still think in exclamation points. In February, I think in tears.)
The first trainer I talked to seemed a little hesitant to work with a then-intact lab puppy. She agreed to show up at our house and help us train my well-meaning sweetheart. She never showed up. She never called. Things then got a little hectic as the holiday season advanced so I put off finding a replacement.
As the project was progressing and I needed to move forward, I looked into a training center in another town (because apparently you have to belong to a secret society to find a trainer in my town). It was a bit more expensive but they claim that I should be able to get Percy through six levels of training in 6 months. Percy should then be awesome at obedience. Sounds good. I can do this. Percy can do this. We can do this, together!
Saturday morning, we are ready to go. I got Percy leashed up, we stopped for treats because I forgot to bring them in my excitement, and it was finally time. We had this.
When I got there, the trainer told me that Percy didn’t have the right collar for training so she lent me one. Oops. Oh, well. We will listen and be model students. We aren’t going to be that kid. We find an empty spot on the floor and the trainer goes over different types of collars and talks about the different levels and that it is fine that there are brand new people today.
It was time to make the dogs sit on our left and then walk around cones. I take a step and Percy takes off, dragging me behind him, even with the different collar. We get maybe halfway around the room and the trainer stops everyone. We have to drop down to something more basic. I don’t know that it was our fault, but Percy was the only one who kept dragging a grown woman 5 feet in every direction away from where he was supposed be sitting.
Then, it happened. In the midst of a class of a dozen dogs and handlers, Percy decides that this is the perfect place to drop a few pounds. I was mortified and didn’t have a bag. The whole class has to stop again as we find a bag and a mop.
Class resumes and we make it 1/4 of the way around the room and the whole class has to stop again. Percy had decided to force me to meet every dog waiting for the next level class. The entire group is told about additional, private, lessons that are offered in case things weren’t explained so that people could understand them. Was that aimed at me? Probably.
Homework for this week is to hand feed the dog right next to us (gross) to help teach the dog to heel and work on sit and down. I don’t think we are supposed to work on walking on the leash but it was hard to hear over the sound of all of the blood rushing to my cheeks.
Looks like we are going to summer school.