Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Puppy School

Our first night at puppy school went very well last night, and Bella met lots of new friends, although I admit she was a bit over-whelmed by it all. Shelties are really shy dogs by nature. They are extremely loving and friendly with their family, and people they know and are comfortable with, but strangers are very scary to them. So the crazy dog lady teacher took that into consideration when working with Bella. She even had us all sit in a circle near the end of the class and pass around each family’s dog to snuggle and hold, specifically stating that we had a very timid puppy in the group and this would be very good for her.

I found myself praying that Bella wouldn’t be the dog that peed all over the floor, or barked uncontrollably while crazy dog lady teacher was talking, or got too rough with another dog, causing them yelp in fear and pain. It was almost like I could relate to that young mother of a new born sitting in a quiet church service, or at a wedding reception during the father-of-the-bride speech, hoping and wishing with all her might that her baby would stay quiet and not call attention to what she’s sure are her poor parenting skills. I didn’t want to be the one with the bad puppy. I didn’t want to be THAT dog owner, the one that all the other dog moms and dads scoffed at.

Of course there was one know-it-all in the group. She nodded along in agreement with EVERYTHING the crazy dog lady teacher said (in that really annoyingly arrogant “I totally know all of this and could be teaching this class myself” way). We all had to go around the group and say our names and the names of our puppies, and why we were taking the class. I, predictably, nudged Dan when it was our turn because I absolutely HATE talking in front of big groups like that, and I hate, even more, doing those horrible “ice-breaker” introductions. Anyways, the know-it-all girl went on and on about why they were taking the class and it almost sounded like she was repeating word-for-word something she had read in a book. And her husband was really ugly, he had this huge mouth and gangly weird smile. So there. I win. She may know more about training a puppy, but I have a hot husband. Ha.

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