Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Training Disaster

So tonight was my first night to teach basic obedience at my local obedience club and boy was I nervous. I have been on edge about this for the past 48 hours. So I pull up to the fairgrounds after work and I notice there are some people inside the building, which is very odd. I waited for someone else from the club (someone with some guts) to show up. Ann fit the bill, and apparently, the fairgounds double booked our building! We've had that building every Tuesday night for the past 15 years, but they gave it to the 4H club.

So that put us in a bind, and our students were beginning to arrive. We set up a makeshift registration in the parking lot. I had left my jacket at work and was freezing. Our first student is a finished champion smooth collie who wants to start on some competative obedience. Nice dog, the lady is going to be difficult. Then the rest of the class shows up. Three families, with FIVE 5 month old German Shepherd Puppies between them. Two of them are dragging small children behind them through the parking lot. Two are barking and lunging at the Collie. The fifth is hiding, cowering behind his owner. Oh brother.

So I explain to the parents that no, their children cannot train the dog in class. The mom informs me that I have the honor of informing her children of this. Great. I'm terrible with kids. So I broke the news, gently I hope. They didn't cry, thats a good sign right? We talked about collars, leashes, treats, class rules, and I talked a little bit about teaching attention. It was too dark to do much else so everyone left and we will extend the session a week.

So I'm thinking I'm in WAY over my head. I have a week to do some research and figure out how I'm going to handle this crew. The training director offered to see if our resident GSD expert would be willing to teach this session and I graciously bowed to experience. I really hope she says she will teach because I am really nervous about this. I mean, these owners with the GSD's are dog novices. Two of them have littermates in the same home. In watching them interact, they clearly know nothing about dog behavior, or basic training. The dogs are 5 months old and already a nightmare. I think they can be helped but I don't think 6 weeks at an hour a week is going to be enough time.

So, Lord help me.

If someone else takes the class I'm going to bring Bozley and put him through his paces every week. He's a great dog, just needs some manners. I've been babysitting the Boz man two out of the past three weekends, and his owners are going away again tomorrow until Sunday. I'll get some pics of him and let you all see how lovely he is. Such a sweet boy.

Moxie and I haven't trained in three weeks now because, first, I was sick, then, last week Moxie had the pukeys, and this week this mess happened. I hope to do some work with her tomorrow so she doesn't lose ground.

Sully is doing great and on NO meds or supplements. Guess what did the trick? the all canned food diet. If he gets into the other cats dry food, or the dogs dry food he gets the squirts, as long as he just gets his canned food, he has normal solid poops. I'm feeding him only the Wellness grain free varieties. He has no complaints about it. I wouldn't have dry in the house except Kobie is being difficult and won't eat enough of the wet and was losing too much weight. Meal time around here is a circus. I have to lock everyone in separate rooms and when I open the doors, dash in and pick up the bowls before Sully or Thurston run in and stick their face in the bowl. Little piggies! But I love them. Sully is getting so big. A little too big in fact. I've cut his rations back as he's a bit podgy already! Actually, I don't think I feed him too much, its all the food he manages to steal. I swear he's taking lessons in being bad from Thurston. Now I have a pack of little thugs terrorizing the house.

I am going to Boston next week! YAY! I'm going to visit Shawn. The kids are staying with Mom, with lots of backup phone numbers. I'm wondering if I should just ask someone to take Moxie for a few days but I just don't know what would be best. Maybe I should board the cats too, so Mom doesn't have to deal with the feeding fiasco. Or just Sully, with his special diet. I just don't know. This is precisely why I don't leave town more often. Any ideas?


Debra Kay said...

Sounds like OUR beginners class. I am the only person who has ever had a dog in a class before, and apparently the only person who understands how to give a command as a command and not a question. It's kind of sad and funny at the same time to see a 5 pound dog bossing a 230 pound man. I mean, seriously, he cannot get his dog to stop pulling HIM around the room. Come ON. Of course, the same thing is happening with the 100 pound dog, and that is clearly NOT funny.

Kathy said...

I'll help any way I can with your leaving! We didn't even get to talk about that!!! YEEEAAAA!!! for vacation :)