Taking Mrs Woofy for a walk in the rain and the wind yesterday, we arrived at a grim and miserable looking playing field, the rain was sweeping across the ground and it was deserted apart form a couple of other hard core dog walkers, like me dressed from head to foot in waterproof clothing and the obligatory large furry hat with ear flaps that makes me look extraordinarily like Deputy Dawg. Strangely enough, everyone else looks ok in theirs, it’s just me who looks like a dweeb.
Taking my place in the dog walking circuit, I trudged round for forty minutes while the dog sniffed, ran, investigated and made a couple of new friends. Before we headed back we did a little bit of obedience training in readiness for our first class of the year on Thursday. Even though the rain lashed into my eyes and the wind stuck his cold fingers on my neck, trying to to find a way in past my many layers it was worth it because the dog performed perfectly. Responding to my every command quickly and smoothly. Genius dog. It was worth braving the weather for. How I wished we were in a competition at that moment, she’d have won it, hands (paws) down!
When I got home I was recounting the story to Big N about how brilliant the dog had been, particularly at her recall command. “I don’t need to shout, we do it by signals. I lift both arms in the air like so” , I said as I lifted both arms up, “Then I drop one arm like so and move it to the side so she knows to come to heel and not in front of me. Brilliant, eh?”
Big N looked at me thoughtfully. “Right. So what you’re saying is that when you’re in a public place and the dog is miles away you basically stand alone in the middle of a field and do the YMCA dance? Bet that attracts attention.”
Mmm, never though about that. Maybe a voice command might be better after all. Thanks, Big N.
All this praise and rapture about how fantastic the dog is in direct contrast to Monday night at agility training where she was a royal pain in the arse. Dashing away mid circuit to snack on the delicious and nutritious goodness that is the pile of horse poo in the corner of the training ring. Many and varied were my futile attempts to get her to come back, calling her name and following her round as she skipped just out of reach every time I got near enough to grab her were just two of my dog retrieval techniques. GGrrrfeckingggggrrrr!!
Dagnabbit dog! Why can’t you disobey me in private and obey me in public?
Twice on Monday she was thrown out of the ring for running round like something demented, drooling and smiling her stupid big doggy smile instead of completing the set tasks.
Once she was finally caught, I silently clipped up back and led out of the ring she realised she was in serious trouble and gave me the old sad eye. ‘I’m sorry,’ her big brown eyes said, imploring me to give her a cuddle. ‘I won’t do it again.’ And I fell for it! What a fool!
Back into the ring we went and we repeated the whole palarver again. I could have brained her but instead I clipped her back up and led her away silently. This time she knew I was really not amused at her shenanigans. Head bowed, tail between her legs and eyes begging me to forgive her, we did the long walk of shame back to the waiting area. The frustration must have been coming off me in waves and Mrs Woofy well and truly picked up on my mood. She didn’t even try to coerce Miss Yappy to play with her, she just came and sat as close to me as she could get, looking up at me with those liquid brown eyes. Those eyes act on me like Kryptonite does on Superman. As soon as I see them looking at me, I lose all my power and start to melt.
“Right, one more go then.”
As if to atone for her previous behaviour, and to prove that she really knew all along what to do, she completed the course perfectly and in record time. When she finished she came running up to me, tail wagging, leaping all over me in delight, “See, told you I could do it,” she seemed to be saying.
The dog knew she’d done good and claimed her reward, a nice big cuddle and a delicious scooby snack.
I bet I could get her to jump through hoops of fire if they just made dog treats out of horse poo.