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Thursday, September 23, 2004

How not to train an English Mastiff

She's only a year and five months old, but Sophie can frustrate me more than my two kids combined at a WalMart with sugar highs.
What was I thinking? Sure, obedience class sounds good on paper and all that, but try loading 135 pounds of muscle and slobber into a Ford Expedition by yourself. If I didn't have back problems before, I can line up with the other suckers for the chiropractic sessions. (Some chiropractors are well worth the time, but that's another blog.)
As in 'human' life, the biggest man in the bar always gets picked on, harassed, berated, and egged into a fight with usually the smallest of men in the world. Why? My guess is to show it's the testosterone mixing with ego, or the insecurities of one man being played out with a strange, giant man. Anyway, I can honestly say it's the same for dogs. Imagine, a cocker spaniel weighing all of 30 pounds actually believes he can take on my Sophie! She can eat that much in a day if you let her. Then, when the cocker gets quieted by his miffed owner, the teacup crossbreed dog-like creature takes its shot. At this point, Sophie realizes there is not real threat by this tiny thing, so she just stares at her. I love that about her, that look of "are you kidding me?" to anyone and everyone that isn't of her stature.
So at the end of the hour, we've gone over 'heel' and 'sit' with microwaved hotdog pieces and Sophie graciously obeys me 50% of the time.
And the real challenge wasn't in class. Oh no, Sophie decides to let loose some rabid 'funk stank' as we used to say in college, during the entire ride home. They should bottle this and send it to Iraq for terrorist interrogations. In all of two minutes we could find Osama after that.
Beauty of the story, it will all be replayed next week, same bat time. Maybe I'll let Sophie teach those little punks a lesson.


  • This is hysterical! I've thought of taking one of my dogs to obedience school - the eldest came trained. We rescued him from the shelter the day he was due to be put down. The same day, on command, he'd sit, stay, come, and do most of the other things people want their dogs to do! The third of our dogs also came trained - we rescued her from the kennel here in Kentucky. She's my son's dog and does everything he wants without being told twice. She adores him! The newest guy, the puppy, was rescued from the neighbor of a friend. I went to visit the friend and saw this tiny pup on the porch - scared, timid, and nursing his hind quarters, tripping from pain. He had no food, no water, and was desparate for attention. He was also swollen in the tummy, so I'm guessing (and later proved right) he had worms, too. You can tell an abused dog when you see one, ya know? His owner opened the door only to kick him again - away from the door, then she looked at me with this sort of disgust and said, "He crapped in the house. He's being punished." I didn't even lie - I just told her I was in love with the pup and wanted to take him home. She was all too pleased and let me take him. He now belongs to my daughter - and aside from the occasional accident in the house that puppies have (but they're rare, really!), he's a good lil' pup who does what pups do. But Sirius - oh, boy - he's a card!

    Sirius was the one pup we didn't really rescue, but who served as our only christmas present the year we were in Tulsa. We didn't have a tree, no money for gifts, nothing special going on, and no family to celebrate with. Then a friend calls and tells me her neighbor is giving away puppies. At the time, the only animal we had was Pharaoh, our eldest dog, so a puppy seemed like a novel idea. Well, this lil' guy attached himself with me with extremely obsessive tendencies - and at age two is STILL just as obsessed! He gets jealous if anyone comes near me - and using treats for training would be a futile experience - that dog will do anything for any kind of snack - from chips and popcorn to pickles and cucumbers! But once you don't have a snack, he couldn't care less what you're asking him to do! He's rude to houseguests because he assumes every one is coming for my attention (which they usually are), and doesn't want me showing affection to anyone! But for some reason, I'm just as crazy about him as he is me! We were made for each other!

    We have nine all together: The dogs are - Pharaoh, Sirius, Honey, and Odin. The cats are Echo, Opal, Topaz, Garnet, and Peridot. The only dog that isn't well behaved is Sirius, and the cats are great unless they're in heat! *LOL*

    By Blogger Wendi Friend, at 12:38 PM  

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