Thursday, November 15, 2007

Come here, Palmer!

So, Johnny, Palmer, and I attended our second session of obedience training tonight and we had our very first obedience test. Our instructor pulled out a 10 foot lead and the 'test' was to see if your dog would 'come' when you called him from across the room. That's fine and dandy if we were at home, I thought, but in the middle of the room, surrounded by strange and overly active dogs? Johnny immediately turned to me, gave me a quick pep talk, said 'You can do it!' and started humming 'Eye of a Tiger'. I started to sweat ...

I was so nervous, I didn't really listen to the instructions so I was happy to see that they started on the other end of the room. The first dog that went was a beautiful little sheltie. Palmer and I watched as the 'teacher's pet' pranced with the instructor to the other end of the room (the instructor suggested earlier that she move up to the intermediate class because she was 'too advance' for the basic class). Pshh. So anyway, as expected, the little sheltie-girl trotted over to her owner right on cue.

Next up was a big lovable chocolate labradoodle named Jasper. He has this dopey, happy-go-lucky attitude and right when his owner called, he leaped and bounded his way over... but got distracted at the last minute by some peanut butter on the floor and made a quick swerve to the left. But, his owner grabbed his collar and the recall was considered a success.

A big drooling monster of a dog was next -- the massive mastiff, Casseus. He overpowered his owner (a docile, gentle senior) just in walking across the room, surely he wouldn't 'come' when called! There's gotta be one dog that messes up before its our turn to go!! Not Casseus. From across the room, his owner yelled powerfully, Casseus, boy. Come here! Casseus!... and good ol' Casseus came.

A few dogs later, it was Palmer's turn. All of a sudden, it was cold in the room and my body was shivering. I must've been experiencing some higher level of nervousness since my normal reaction to tense situations is to sweat (so I look like I'm sitting in a sauna). I unhook our lead, and attach the 10-foot lead to Palmer. The instructor walks with him to the end of the room. Ready, set... Palmer! Come here Palmer! Palmer! ... nothing. I look over and Palmer is happily sitting at the foot of the instructor waiting for a treat. Again, Palmer! Palmer! Come here Palmer! and I see him wagging his tail, sitting patiently, priding himself in his discipline to sit. He thinks he's going to get a treat. 'Maybe if I sit here longer', he's probably thinking. I hear the oohs and the aahs but here I am, calling for a dog that won't come! Last time... Palmer! Come here! Palmer! Finally, Palmer hears my voice, breaks out of his trance, turns to look at me... and comes running. Oh Palmer!! We have a lot of homework to do this week!


Janet said...

remember, he's not a bad egg just because he's not good at math. i mean commands :)

Sabra said...

Well said.