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Banjo as One Step Forward

Posted by Joanchek on Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Yesterday was interesting.  I picked up the banjo to play, and the puppy just went berserk.  She was racing around the house, barking, jumping--just crazy stuff.  So I sat quietly and kept playing for a while, until she calmed down a bit.  This shows her that I'm the boss.   Later in the afternoon, I tried to play again, and she sat at my feet and fell asleep.  So, she either didn't like my musical selection or was just testing me.  With Cricket, it's all about attention.  Since she's going to be a big dog, it's really important that she knows that I am the boss.  So, knowing that I don't know everything (even though I would like to think I do) I enrolled us in a puppy class.

Oh, Dante? You missed one. I have been to the tenth circle of hell, and it is puppy kindergarten.

I spent an hour and a half Sunday afternoon trying to keep my behemoth 26-pound puppy from batting a nine-ounce pug puppy around like a flat tennis ball. Cricket has toys bigger than two of the dogs in the class. She could swallow them whole. Her idea of play was batting the teeny pups on their noses, using her paw like a flyswatter. Peanut, the min-pin, who weighed a whopping 14 ounces, tried to hold her ground, but ended up cowering under her owner's chair. I swear she was sweating. Maddie, the Wheaten terrier, managed to escape Cricket's notice. Maddie was so scared that her owner could not put his hand between her body and the wall of the class space. It was as if she was annealed to the wall panel.

Alison, the instructor, knelt down with the pug. She held the training clicker and a handful of treats behind her back. Cricket calmly walked up behind her, and proceeded to devour as many liverbits as she could as quickly as she could, giving herself hiccups. The instructor's dog, a dachshund/beagle mix named Sophie, slept through the class in the corner by the door. When she woke up, Cricket approached her to play, using her same country-bumpkin manners. This earned her a rebuff from Sophie and secret cheers from the other humans in the class. I swear I saw Peanut snicker.

Next Sunday afternoon, we are going to learn Sit, Come, and Stay. I'd rather learn Sit, Come, and Stay Home. But I am a trooper, and I'll keep going back, hoping that Cricket becomes a bit more refined in her social skills.


1 comment on “Banjo as One Step Forward”

Juli Says:
Tuesday, February 3, 2009 @6:28:45 AM

Ha! My Daisy would probably be snack-size in Cricket's eyes, but I too know the mix of exasperation and amusement that one gets from trying to train a rowdy puppy. Keep on working at it and soon Cricket will be one cool dog. And hopefully she won't grow up to kill a frog and then bring it to you in bed (sadly, true story).

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