Please be advised that this post is about my dog Walter. I advise you of this because I write a lot about Walter and you are probably sick of hearing about him. You know those people who moon over their grandkids’ accomplishments and are totally oblivious to the fact that you might not want to hear about little Johnny’s toilet training or violin lessons? Yeah, you might want to skip this post because I’m like those people, only when it comes to my dogs…and cats. In any event, this post is about Walter’s continuing education. You have been warned.
Some of you know the trials I have gone through with my soon-to-be adult dog Walter. I call him that because at 1 1/2 years old he is still a teenager. A stubborn, rebellious teen. I’m not sure he’ll ever act like an adult. We are taking bets on how old he’ll be when he actually stops acting like a puppy. In an effort to speed this process up, I signed him up for obedience classes.
When Walter started Basic Obedience class, he was a hellhound. He dragged me into the place. I’m sure you’ve seen those cartoons where the big dog is running and the owner is flying behind him in the air. Yeah, my feet weren’t making much contact with the ground that first night. We had 7 weeks of Basic training and we survived. Everyone else did, too. Walter did harbor great hatred toward a specific Goldendoodle, but sneering aside, everyone remained unscathed. Walter informs me that I must tell you that the Goldendoodle started it.
At the end of his Basic class, I was all ready to sign Walter up to repeat it. I thought we both needed a little remedial training. The trainer said it would be ok if Walter went into the Intermediate class. I was suspicious, ok that’s not the right word. ‘Skeptical?’ Yeah, that’s more like it. I was surprised, that’s for sure. We took the plunge against my better judgment.
Tonight was Walter’s next to last Intermediate class and we had a class picture taken. Everyone dropped their leashes and stood beside their dogs. I moved to the side but kept the leash. It was slack on the floor, but let me tell you I had the end of it in a death grip. He’s done really well with the other dogs. He even lets everyone else in the class hold him in a stay position while I wander around the room patting other dogs. However, I like to play it safe since he’s a big black hellhound and all.
After class, we had the choice to sign up for another Intermediate class or go on to Advanced. My pen was hovering over the Intermediate sheet when our friend Pam came up behind us with her poodle Hemi. She smiled and said in this mischievous ‘I dare you’ kind of voice: “Do the Advanced.” Yeah right! I’ll just be enrolling this demon dog in an Advanced class with all of the standout students. Uh huh, sure… She kept trying to encourage me because she would be going and Walter and Hemi like each other. Pffft!
I turned once again to the Intermediate sheet as the trainer walked over. I laughed and told her that Pam was crazy enough to suggest that we sign up for Advanced classes. She looked at me and told me we should. Huh?! So much for my wanting to show Pam how crazy she was. The trainer was even crazier. After all, she was going to have to deal with us in Advanced class and she knew what she was getting into! I truly question her judgment, but she is the expert. No matter what happens, it’s all on her…and Pam. Against all odds, Walter is going to be an Advanced student in a week and a half. I’m not sure if I should be proud or petrified.