Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dog Training, Capes and Divorce Proceedings

Well our little bundle of joy has come with a few bad habits. Namely, chewing things (for some Freudian reason, only stuff of mine including 2 bras, a pair of flip-flops, a pair of Adidas (salvageable), a pair of headphones, a book my boss lent me and a couch cushion (technically shared property).
Although she does seem to have some sort of vendetta against this particular couch cushion, and not the 2 others exactly like it, having successfully attacked it and pulled the stuffing out twice.
I digress, but I wanted to post some ever so cute pictures of her in her new vest (which Leo insists is really a cape). But it's not.
I bought her 2 Halloween costumes, neither of which fit her properly. First was a banana (too cute) and second was a turtle. She didn't care for either of those, but she loves her cape so I guess we're all happy.
So back to the story. I decided (after she ran off twice and was caught playing in traffic) that we needed to get a dog trainer. After much research, I found one and he came over for the first visit last night.
I now understand why divorce proceedings, especially if there are kids involved, can get so nasty.
It went something like this.
Dog Trainer (DT): So what seems to be the problem?
Me: Well, I think we need to set some boundaries with the dog and get on the same page about training her.
Leo: Well, I think she's the most wonderful, beautiful dog in the world and we don't really need this. Besides, she's so little and cute.
DT: Hmmm, interesting (said while taking notes)
Me: The main thing I'm worried about is that she's run off twice and hasn't come back when we've called and then she's run into traffic. She is so small that cars can't see her and I'm afraid she's going to get hit. The other thing I want to fix is her chewing. She's chewed up about $200 of my stuff already.
Leo: She hasn't chewed up anything of mine, so I don't think that's so much of the problem. But I do think we should work on her running away.
DT: I see.
Me: Well, I do think it's a problem and it needs to be solved. It's not funny. I think a main problem is that Leo babies the dog too much because she's so little.
Leo: DT, let me tell you. The truth is that the dog really likes me better and Kristin doesn't like that. She's a little jealous.
Me: (getting madder). That isn't the issue. Can we please work on this? This is serious.
Anyway, it kept going for a little bit and we spent the better part of the (expensive) first session talking like this.
To Leo's credit, he started to take it more seriously when we started leash work outside. He did really well and was really into it, when all of a sudden our neighbor, K decided to saunter past to see what we were up to.
K and Leo had been joking about the dog training all day and I guess he wanted to see what was going on. Two minutes later, Leo gets a phone call and starts giggling and I know it's K. Nice.
Anyway, now K is on my list.
All in all, I think the training was pretty much a success. A lot of it I knew, but I needed that kick in the pants (and in the wallet) to do it. I did learn a few new things though.
Our homework is to work with her on a leash. Basically, anytime she pulls ahead of you, you have to jerk the leash and then turn in the other direction so she starts paying attention to you and realizes she's not the leader.
We also have to practice making her sit and stay while we keep the door open so she doesn't bolt. If she does bolt, we have to throw this bag of pennies, that Leo calls the magic bag, down on the ground to startle her. Like shock aversion therapy I guess.
Wish us luck! Our next session is this Saturday.

1 comment:

  1. Let it be known that Kristin actually does have a physical LIST ... the proverbial shit list has been manifested into anger-scrawl reality and stuffed into the glove compartment of her car. So watch it... you, too, could end up on The List!