Last Wednesday night, I traveled to the Springfield Dog Training Club east of Springfield for my first ever obedience training class. The class is for Belle. I mind just fine. Most of the time. The rules that make sense anyway.
It was a raining night. It was dark. It was foggy. The club is out in the middle of nowhere and I drove by it the first time but finally made it. The first night is just for the humans. Belle goes with me next week. The class didn’t even start until 7 pm and I HATE being out on a weeknight. When I first walked in the previous class was still in session. Those dogs were BEHAVED.
As the first class wound down, the staff circled chairs around for our class. We all sat down ready to share our dog woes with the not so faint smell of urine in the air. You know, sort of what I’d expect and AA meeting to be like. I could already imagine Belle and I getting kicked out for our mutual insubordination because everything struck me as funny. I was one dog away from being a Saturday Night Live skit.
I’ve placed a lot of hope in this class when what I probably should have invested in is more massages for myself. And maybe hypnosis. Or some sort of voodoo to ensure more patience. From the first night, the one thing I learned that seems to be the pivotal key to success is this; hotdogs. Dogs LOVE hotdogs and will apparently do ANYTHING for more hotdogs. Woe to you when you run OUT of hotdogs.
I cut up an entire package the very next day after class and have been trying to implement my new mind bending dog training techniques on Belle. I also bought a doggie seatbelt so I can keep her from pinging around the interior of my car to and from class.
I’m ready. Bring it on next week’s class. I am prepared to dominate.
I’ll just have to try to keep the snarky thoughts and comments to myself. THAT will be the most difficult part. Unless I run out of hotdogs.
Last week also brought the spaying of our new wildcat, Violet. I’ve been feeding her in the mornings so she’s used to the schedule now. She waits impatiently outside the patio door for us to wake and greet her in the mornings. She’s really sweet and friendly. Monday I thought I might just crate her up and take her to the vet, but I decided to call first to make sure that would be okay. I didn’t know how it would go or WHEN I might be able to catch her and get that feat accomplished.
The vet said no problem, bring her when I could and they would get the job done … for $53. The next morning she was outside the door as usual. I ran up and got the cat carrier and stuffed her inside without incident. She wasn’t too happy once she realized she’d been duped by my affection, but she wasn’t insane either. We came to an agreement. She mewed and I consoled all the way to the vet.
I dropped her off and checked on her later that day. She was still groggy so I decided it was probably better if she spent the night at the vet than if I tried to keep her in the garage all night. I picked her up early the next morning and took her home.
My biggest fear was that the second I let her out of the crate she’d run for the woods never to be seen again. I have the same worry every time I hive bees. Because really, what’s to keep them from just saying screw it and flying away? Uh, nothing.
Before I opened the cat carrier, I filled her bowl with food, another with water and dumped some tuna over the top of it. I wafted the open tuna container in front of the carrier. She was interested. I opened the door and she came out purring and rubbing against me ready for lovin’s. I was forgiven. I’m pretty sure the tuna helped.
That night, Grandpa, Grace and Bryon all reported that she was indeed fine and still hanging around. Grandpa fed her some more tuna and and everyone in the family scratched her ears for her. At one point, Bryon got a glimpse of something out on the back deck and looked out to find a beautiful, fluffy white opossum eating out of the cat bowl and Violet rubbing her body against it like a Brillo padded cat scratch post. What the heck?
Guess it’s a good thing I went ahead and gave her a rabies shot as well.