The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too.
~ Samuel Butler
The Elegant Gathering
TODAY on TV
GOOD GIRL! GOOD GIRL!
16 June 2004
I am pleased to report that dog training is going exceptionally well. Ive never put forth a consistent effort at doing training of any dog before, but really wanted to create a situation where we could live with Sheila and not be angry with her all the time. Shes very bright, very eager to please, perpetually happy and her breed is supposed to be quite easy to train.
Ive ordered a dog training book, which is back ordered at Amazon, and Im probably going to enroll in a training class through the local PETCO (but Im not sure when the next class starts). In the meantime Im just plodding along, doing what I can to fit her into the household as quickly as possible.
Surprisingly, it does not take much to be trained, Ive discovered.
For example after only two times of having her carry my shoes out to the back yard, and chew one of them up, Ive learned to put my shoes away as soon as I take them off. That wasnt hard at all. No more worry about Sheila chewing up my shoes.
Sheila has already learned that Im supposed to put treats in my pocket when we go for a walk so that when I want her to come to me, shell come back. Yesterday when I didnt get the leash fastened securely and she ran away before I got her into the car, it was only the memory of treats from my pocket that got her to come back. I always remember, now, to put treats in my pocket now. Good Bev.
Ive learned how to sleep in the couple of inches she allows me, after she settles herself smack dab in the middle of the bed each night. Im happy that she lets me sleep in her bed.
I've learned how to get out of bed immediately upon waking, rush through making coffee for Walt when he wakes up and get Sheila out to the car and headed off for her walk before 6:15 a.m. No more of this lingering over e-mail with a cup of coffee until the sun gets higher in the sky.
Her nose is about the height of the kitchen table and shes always sniffing about when there is food on the table. She hasnt attempted to take anything off of the table yet, so Ive trained myself--and Walt too--to remove plates as soon as weve finished eating. No more waiting until after checking e-mail or watching a TV program to clear the table. The table is cleared right after dinner.
Ive learned that if I throw toys for half an hour or so, Sheila will eventually let me watch TV in peace.
Ive also learned that with the temps approaching triple digits these days, and two black dogs who are shedding madly, that vacuuming needs to be done every day, so the family room usually looks clean.
So Id say that things are going quite well. Sheila is fitting in nicely and Im gradually getting trained to do what she wants so that we all get along well.
This wasnt quite the way I thought it would be, but it seems to be working out all right.
We are still doing the drainage channel each morning, a shorter walk each day, as the water slowly makes its way down the channel. She loves it when joggers pass by, because then she goes running with them. This morning apparently she went off the drainage channel and up onto the bike path, which she does occasionally. The jogger went after her and brought her back. I didnt see Sheila for most of the first half of our walk. Even the joggers are getting trained.
Shes such a happy dog. Shes not perfect, but shes brought a lot of fun into the house and even Walt, who rolled his eyes at the thought of adding a second dog, seems to be smitten.
Kimba, who is a grumpy old lady and not at all happy to have this big obstreperous puppy in her domain, is reluctantly coming around. Sheila is hard to ignore, especially when she jumps over Kimba, crouches down and invites her to play. Kimba is rolling her eyes and thinking "oh pulleeze..." but I see a little smile in the corner of her mouth as she waddles off to her bed away from the invitation. I think shell come around eventually tool
Were all getting trained.
Follow-up. Apparently I have falsely maligned Quizno's. In a guestbook entry, Denise reports that it's on Chicago's gay/lesbian friendly list of eateries. So apparently anti-gay is not a company policy, but unique to the local Davis franchise. That's good to know, because I like Quizno's better than Subway.