So, Bella, what did you think of your first day of class?
Well, at first, I was a little scared to go in because I remembered being at this place before. And while the teacher back then probably knew an awful lot about reactive dogs, he didn't seem to care too much about me being a scared-y dog and he got mad at me and my humans a lot.
But mom gave me lots of hot dog slices to get me inside the building this time and once she set down my towel, I knew I was stuck there.
To be honest, it only got worse when the first dog to come into the class with us was a black Labrador named Willie who looked just like the neighbor's dog who bullies me in my own yard! Geez mom, what are you trying to do - scare me to death?
|I'm watching you, Willie.|
Wow - that must have been pretty scary. Did you just hang out on your towel the whole time you were there?
Oh no, at first I thought that was all we were going to do but then we got to get up and walk around a little. Mom and dad kept giving me treats for ignoring Willie while we walked back and forth across the room.
But the best part was when the teacher put a jump in front of us and tried to teach mom and dad different ways to lead me over the jump. She called it front- and back-crosses and oh, was that good for a laugh.
For me it was a little hard to concentrate on going over the jump with the big black scary at the other end of the room and sometimes I would stare at him a little too long getting more and more nervous. But then mom would shove a hot dog at my nose. Oh yeah, nothing like the smell of a cold, slimy hot dog to get your attention.
|Class - the long view, with classmates.|
The teacher told us she was going to have us each try some of the obstacles and it would be real hard on the dog left sitting at their towel because there was going to be a lot of noise and excitement. But we had to learn to be real calm while all that went on around us. Boy, it was hard but mom and dad just kept giving me hot dogs while the big, black Labrador had a go.
Then it was my turn and I'm pretty sure I shocked the shi---nola out of mom and dad when I got to the A-frame and went right up and over! Hahaha. Every now and then I like to change things up and take something they think is going to be real hard for me and make it look easy. Gotta keep 'em guessing, you know?
So yeah, I did the A-frame on the first try. And then I did it again. And again. And again. And I even did it one last time when they tried to get me to go back to my towel just for good measure. Sorry mom.
That's okay, Bella, we were very proud to see you having so much fun. So, tell the people, did you do all the other obstacles just as easily that first day?
Hahahahahaha! Oh, gracious no. Have you met me?
But Willie, the big show-off, pretty nearly did. I don't think it took him more than a couple of tries to master the teeter-totter even. I don't think he's as a-scared of stuff as I am. I think he's just real scared of other dogs.
Anyway no, I didn't do all the obstacles that first day. But I started to learn about them and mom and dad learned a lot about how to teach me to not be scared of them.
Dad went home and made me some of the obstacles to practice on and what he couldn't make, he got mom for Christmas. Mom's going to talk about a couple of the more difficult things we tackled in the coming weeks because she says she has "stories". (I think that means she's going to make fun of me but whatever, I know I rock.)
Do you have any other classmates besides Willie? What are they are like?
I've had two other classmates at times:
- Deja was a pretty pit bull who hung out with us for a few weeks. But I don't think she was as loco as the rest of us so she stopped coming after a time.
- And then we have the handsome-est Miniature American Eskimo dog named Elmo who comes to class when he can. Sometimes Elmo and I trade crushes on each other. He's even more scared-y than I am but I don't think I've ever seen him be reactive. He loves his mom, Rebecca - a lot. You can tell 'cause he's always watching her. Not like me - I sometimes forget mom and dad are there when I'm off sniffing something extra-specially good.
Yeah, Carolyn's okay. I like her 'cause she doesn't try to touch me. She lets me sniff her and still doesn't even try to pet me! I didn't think you hu-folks had it in you to be so close to me and not try to touch me. My teacher also teaches other teachers so we had Lisa come and work with us for a while. I really liked her - she smelled like super good treats.
So all in all your class sounds pretty awesome...?
Yeah, you know it turned out okay. I wasn't even on my new special medicine when I first signed up and going to class made me feel a little better about things. All that thinking and behaving and learning new stuff was pretty exhausting so I was too tired to worry (too much) about flies in the closet or pine cones dropping on the roof.
In fact, for a while I loved it so much that I'd do zoomies once I got in the classroom. No, it was not very dignified but I was back in class where I got to climb the A-frame, get all sorts of attention and eat a couple of pounds of hot dogs! What's not to love? (From the hu-mom - Bella exaggerates somewhat about the amount of hot dogs... Somewhat.)
Well thank you, Bella, for your time tonight. Mom was wondering how she was going to share your side of this adventure.
Bella LOVES her class. It has been a lot of effort, a lot of time and a lot of adjustments along the way but she has come so far from her first days. And it shows in her behavior at home. This is a dog that loves to learn and we do her a disservice when we forget that.
Thanks for visiting. Hope you enjoyed our little interview.
|And thanks to Alfie, Snoopy, Luna and My Brown Newfies for bringing us the Monday Mischief Pet Blog Hop. |
Make sure you hop on through to the other blogs and see what trouble our various critters can get into over the weekend.