I admit it. I’ve become one of those dog-loving ladies. You know the type. They carry their dog in
Now, before you scoff at me, I don’t think I’ve gone that far over the deep end. However, we’re empty nesters now, and I work at home. The house was really quiet. So I brought home a puppy – a small dog when Mr. Curtis and I have had nothing but large dogs for 30 years. At first, Tally was afraid of everything. Translation: she yapped at everything. In desperation, I called the dog whisperer. Trainer Tom used to train dogs for the military. Now he works with people like me who want the “perfect dog.”
How is a perfect dog possible? It’s not. What Trainer Tom strives for are confident dogs and relaxed owners. What does that mean? It means we regularly go on pack walks around the local university (20 or so dog owners). We attend obedience classes. We have homework assignments (like taking our dogs to Home Depot). We visit veterinary clinics and go to outdoor events. Ever taken your dog to the farm tractor show? I have (and I’m not a farmer).
So it should have come as no surprise when Trainer Tom said we were going to have swimming lessons. Granted, we live in California. We have a pool and our 14-year old Lab (who is otherwise a slug) swims in it more than we do. Tally would not swim. At our first swim class, we were paired with a Rottweiler. We were taught how to “encourage” a dog into the pool, how to teach them to swim (much like you’d teach a toddler), and how to teach them to get out (the most important part). At our second class, Tally literally swam circles around Trainer Tom.
Am I nuts? Maybe. But Tally doesn’t bark at every grocery bag I bring in the house now. I can take her into public places without her being a yappy, nerve-wracked pip-squeak.
Have you ever gone a little nutty over an animal or known someone that did? I’d love to hear about it.