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dog training

Eat. Love. STAY!!!

Eat. Love. STAY!!!

I read a random quote that stated beautifully, “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.” – Unknown

I am going to take this quote home and read it to my two chocolate labs. I will especially point out that last sentence. …

“See girls! You’re love and generous… PERIOD!! There’s no follow up that states this is rendered void if you see a cat, another dog, or a random deer!!

Don’t get me wrong, my dogs are awesome! As long as we do not leave the house and nobody comes to visit us…. I have THE PERFECT dogs! Well… almost the perfect dogs. Lola, the bigger of the two talks-like-a-woman-walks-like-a-man dog, is a wee bit of a neurotic talker. But other than that…. Perfect!

Unfortunately, life gets in the way and we can’t stay locked up in the house forever. So as many nights a week that I can cowboy up to the task….. I walk my little angels.

If I had a quarter for every time a person told me that I was not trying hard enough to train my dogs…. Well, I’d have a nice sized sack of quarters to knock them upside the head with!

I’ve taken my two dogs to training. I bought the required choke collar and showed up early for each scheduled one-on-one tete-a-tete. Every week I’d alternate dogs and every week we’d walk in circles healing , stopping, starting, walking…. The instructor pointed out that one of my dogs was eager to please, while the other one… not so much.

Practice in between sessions was teeter totter-ish. I’d command “SIT!” and one dogs butt would hit the floor, but by the time the other dogs butt hit the floor… the first dogs butt was back up. One butt up, one butt down, one butt up, one butt down….

I’ve tried treats, but on a walk it’s the FRESH MEAT that trumps the beef jerky in my pocket. I’ve tried collars… a heap of discarded and defunct collars are in a bucket in my garage. Gentle leader my arse!! I’m about to shell out another $40 on the Dog Whisperers Illusion collar, because THIS TIME….. THIS TIME it’s going to answer all my prayers (and internal curses).

For those who think I’ve not made any progress…. You should have seen us a few years ago, when coming home from a walk might be accompanied by scraped knees and blood. My knees, my blood….. do dogs even have knees??

I will not give up. I will not be thwarted. We might be taking baby-baby steps, but we are moving in the right direction. In the interim, I’ve taken to playing the Dog Whisperer during the evening. Even if I’m not in the room, I play it… hoping that the great Cesar Millan will, in some sort of miraculous way, reach my dogs on some sort of doggy-subconscious level. Though, Cesar… you might need to speak a little bit louder than a whisper with these two…