Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oh brother

Try real hard to remember back to 8th grade.   At my (tiny) elementary/middle school, I graduated 8th grade in a class of 17 (I can still name every one of them---and a bunch are Facebook friends, who might even be reading this---so shoutout to my class of '93 8th grade grads!).  We were the top dogs, and felt like the coolest kids around.  Maybe you were the *best* something in 8th grade---the best singer in your class, the fastest runner, the funniest.

And then you went to high school.

And suddenyl you're a very little fish in a very big pond.

That was therapy dog class tonight.  Sigh.

If you've hung out with Parker, you know that he's a great dog.  We've worked really hard with him, and he does so many amazing things:

-He will lay down and stay at the playground, as little kids run past within an inch of his nose.
-He will whimper and look at me with big eyes---but not move or snap or growl or scratch---when Maya grabs a handful of fur.
-He will gallop floppily to Maya and eagerly lick her face when I say "Parker!  Where's Maya?!?"
-He puts himself to bed
-He will wait forever if I put food in front of him and say "Leave it"

But---he wants, more than life itself, to play with other dogs.  Just desperately wants to frolick with them in puppy madness.  At 7 months, he was the youngest pup there by far---and his puppy "Dogs! Dogs! Hey, you dogs!  I need to play with you I'm right here will someone look at me I can't stand it I'm all alone!"ness it the biggest challenge we're going to face.

He did great with the one-on-one stuff---the trainer and her volunteer could pull on his paws, stick fingers in his mouth, etc etc---no problem.  He took treats gently.  He sat and stayed.  But he whimpered, wiggled, and tried to play with the other dogs as they walked by----so embarassing!

I thought we were at the top of our game. 


We have a lot lot lot lot of work to do.  We might not pass this round of classes, I fear.  He might just need to be older to gain more of the self control.  

I need to look at it like a challenge, dust myself off, and tackle it tomorrow.  But puppy training is really hard work with a toddler in tow.  Throw in a toddler who needs constant physical support, and how can I manage it?  How can I do our homework --- "find strangers and get them to approach your dog to pet him while you kneel next to him"----while holding a wiggling Maya, or having her sit in the stroller (yelling) to watch?

I thought we were a lot further along this training road than we actually are.  And it's both daunting and annoying.  Argh.


Anonymous said...

Don't stress about it. Look at all you've accomplished. Parker is Awesome!

grandma said...

he's still just a puppy and you'll both do fine---or if not, you'll just take the class again. nothing to stress about so much----not like he won't get into the college of his choice :-) he's still the best dog in the world and has helped maya in ways you only hoped for!!!

grandma said...

ps. on a side note, you were the youngest in your class and shined brightly as the school years went by!!!

Stacy said...

He will do great!! You may just have to do your homework on the weekends when Dave is around, nothing like leaving it for the last minute LOL!! Good luck!!Thanks for the shoutout- yay class of 1993!!

Dana said...

I'm nervous for our next class, but trying to tell myself that it's no big deal. I think maybe I'm not used to trying something and not having it come more easily---and there's no easy way for me to drain his puppyness!