8/06/2010

Skool Daze - Part II

Jeff Tinsley is awesome. He is the owner of Sound Animals. He is my special teacher. He is helping me overcome my super-duper anger at other dogs when I’m on a leash. He knows a ton about dogs. He likes me and I like him. Last week we went to Green Lake to work on things…

Diana and Michael talked with Jeff for a while about stuff (Me mostly). I watched for other dogs and boy did I find them. They were coming at me from every direction. I wanted to rush the dogs walking on the path around the lake but Jeff made me sit and be quiet up by the parking lot. WTH!

Oh, I get it. If I sit nicely I get cheese and we move a little closer to the lake.

Ok, fine. I was on to him and his cheesy ways. I could do this.

Two from the left - one a shepherd and one a beagle.

One from the right - a terrier yapping at me. Why was he yapping at me? I didn’t do anything.

More from behind - just kids on bikes. No biggie unless they get close. Getting close. Getting closer.


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Arghhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MAJOR MELT DOWN

Back to the parking lot. Drink of cold water and a few moments of “quiet time”.

Peaceful, calm, controlled. READY - SET - GO.

Strollers. Oh, right. We don’t bark at babies. We like babies. Sorry.

Took us nearly an hour to move 100 feet, to a bench in the shade, underneath a beautiful tree.  We were about half way to the lake trail. Diana was surprised we made it that far. She didn’t think we would. I was trying really, really hard and Jeff said I was “a good dog”. Diana and Michael agreed.  That made so happy I almost wagged my tail.  Almost.

Incoming at 2:00 - 2 pugs. What? Don’t they know I’m here? 
Hey, Hey, Hey.
Oh, right. Quiet. Cheese. Yum.

Incoming at 9:00 - A small shi-tzu. He’s wagging his tail. Back-off fuzz ball.
Hey, Hey, Hey.
Oh, right. Quiet. Cheese. Yum.

Cheese, give me cheese before I loose my cool. I’m loosing it. Ok, I got it back. I sat, perfectly good with my feet together and held my tongue.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Arghhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SQUIRREL

Red Alert . Def Con 4. All Shields up. Full Battle Gear. Whoot Whoot Whoot Alarms Alarms

Michael said, “Looks like she’s lost it for good this time, guys.” Yep. I was a goner. Diana scooped me up and back to the parking lot we went. I was a shivering bundle of nerves, my tail was high up on my back and my fur was puffed out as far as it would go. I think my vision was blurry too…

Slowly, with my back to the lake trail, I regained my cool. Nice drink of cold water. Some tummy and ear rubs and I started to calm down. Peaceful, calm, controlled.

Jeff decided to have me meet his dog Neeka. Sure, why not. The day couldn’t get much worse than it already was, as far as I was concerned. Bring it on. I’ll meet her. But I won’t like her.

Apparently, Neeka is a wonder dog. A black lab Jeff got as a rescue when she was 6 months old. Perfect. Trained. Beautiful. Calm. Talented up the wazoo with tricks and manners. Jeff thinks she’d be a good influence. She is supposed to be my mentor. Right, we’ll see.

Neeka walked towards us and settled in the shade about 15 feet from me.
Hey, Hey, Hey. Don’t ignore me. Hey, Hey, Hey.
Oh, right. Quiet. Cheese. Yum.

Diana let me get closer. Sniff sniff sniff.
Hey, Hey, Hey.
Oh, right. Quiet Cheese. Yum.


Diana let me get even closer. Sniff Sniff sniff.
Bite.
Oh, wrong.

Sure, I get that, but I didn’t actually touch her. I just bit towards her. No cheese or a “good dog” with that move. Neeka growled at me too. Ah, overkill. I get it…

Diana let me try getting closer again. Sniff Sniff Sniff
Touch.
No bark - no growl.


CHEESE. Lots of cheese and full-on “GOOD SASHA”

Yippee.

Jeff decided that was it. He’d seen enough and we were all worn out. We walked back to the cars together. I let Neeka walk beside me, as long as she didn’t try any funny business with sniffing my tail. Jeff thinks I can become a calmer dog with lots and lots of practice. He is very hopeful, but I may never manage to be a “dog park’ kind of dog. Diana thinks there may just be enough cheese in the world to get me trained into tolerating dogs near me when we walk around the neighborhood.

I say - bring it on. Let’s test this cheese training stuff to the limits. But, we better stop at the store first for more cheese.


^ . . ^ Woof!

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