As I posted last week, Calypso and I began Obedience Training on Saturday at Pet Smart. My little rambunctious dog was the biggest dog and the most well behaved in class. We arrived a little early and toured the store. She loved sniffing at everything but surprisingly, she did not pick up one item.
The manager tried to give her a treat – flavored popcorn – and Calypso turned her nose up at it. She also turned up her nose at a second treat. I took pity on the manager and gave her one of the treats I brought along for training class. Calypso gobbled it up, no questions asked.
We then went to the training room to wait for the other dogs and the instructor. I dropped Calypso’s leash and let her walk around to explore since we were alone. A couple of minutes later, another dog and owner arrived. The minute the woman opened the door and her dog (a Boxer) came face to face with Calypso he peed on the floor. She cleaned the mess only for the dog to look at Calypso a second time with the same reaction. I was like “Go Calypso” –not aloud – I know, totally rude and inappropriate even it was only in my head. Calypso didn’t do anything; she was standing there being good.
In our class, we have five dogs, some kind of yip-yapping terrier looking dog, an English bulldog, an Alaskan Husky, a Boxer, and Calypso, a German shepherd. Calypso did not care for so many dogs and all of the noise that accompany them. She sat down as close to my chair as she could and periodically tried to climb in my lap. She eventually ventured out on her own and growled at the other dogs. I was curious before we went about how she might react to other dogs, but she really did not want anything to do with them. Of course, we were not on her territory. That would probably have created an entirely different scenario.
The instructor was very good and her instruction techniques were easy to understand and implement. Calypso was a willing participant and did very well. She is learning the hand signal for sit and is actually listening better. The woman sitting next to me was a trip. She would tell her dog to sit and give him a treat and then the dog stopped listening and lay down. She told him, “oh well, just lay there and be good.” I was wondering what in the world was she doing. We were clearly in obedience class and she was telling the dog it was okay not to listen. This class should prove very interesting, although we may not be there much longer. Pet Smart also offers private lessons and I am considering switching over. It is a four-week class as opposed to six weeks and Calypso is not fond of the noise and chaos of the other dogs. I have to admit also that the chaos and lack of space aren’t working well for me either. Another plus would be the individual attention for an hour and the chance to work more intensely with Calypso on learning the commands. That actually appeals to me more than the socialization of so many animals.
I am having so much fun now with the “sit” command and sign language. I make them sit for everything. I am really being bad about it (laughing.) They come to the door and they sit. I let them in. They follow me around as I fill their bowls with their food (and make them sit). Then they race to the door to go out and I make them sit. I open the door and we go outside like ladies.
On Sunday, Hubby decided to plow his garden
and plant a few potatoes. Of course, he wanted help, so I loaded up the dogs in their wagon and we rode to the garden to watch. Yes! Watch! He really didn’t plant that much so my help – other than company – wasn’t really needed. I was the “dog’s driver”. I hooked up their wagon to the lawn mower and we made several trips from the house (front) to the garden (back) and back; and then several more trips around the garden (just for fun.) Don’t they look like they were enjoying themselves? I cannot let them out of the wagon because of all the tall grass. We’ve had an issue with ticks before and I am more than a little paranoid about them. Therefore, for their protection – and my delicateness – they stay in the wagon.
Ryka likes to hang over the side and watch the tall grass go by. It is the funniest thing to watch. Calypso just stands there. She is beginning to get comfortable with riding. She is not crazy about lawn mowers or noise.
(My blog post was too long so check above for Part II!)