Graduation day looms for the pup and I



When it became clear I was the only person in the household our 1-year-old Yorkie, Gunnar, would not mind, a decision was made at the highest level of the family that he, and I, would be going to school to learn about a thing called “obedience.”

Personally I didn’t see what the problem was. Gunnar and I had become best buddies. I insult him daily and he steals my shoes. I hide around corners and jump out to scare him and he rips up the mail.

Really, it’s all harmless fun.

But then his doggie hijinks became more serious when he started making a dash for the door and managed to get loose in the neighborhood three times while in my care. Getting him to come back turned out to be no easy feat either.

The first time I deceived him with a pretend snack. The second time he would not fall for the same trick, so I had to open a car door to lure him inside and trap him. Then the third time I fortunately managed to snag him as he cleared the door and wrestled all 10 pounds of him to the ground.

So off to school we were sent. I was fairly certain we’d be set in the corner the first day, dunce hats atop our heads, made an example of for all the other unruly dogs and their hapless owners. But turned out it wasn’t so bad.

Gunnar and I worked well together and we soon discovered the concept of teamwork might just get us through the classes. Over the course of the past six weeks we’ve learned the basics of walking with a leash (I mean like him walking at my side, not pulling to lead the way), how to sit and (gasp!) stay.

Our success in the classroom, however, still had some cringe-worthy moments. Like Gunnar’s tendency to completely loose his mind and yap mercilessly at the other dogs when they got to close to him. I’m not really sure what would make a 10 pound Yorkie think he could take on a big Boxer mix, but Gunnar seemed to think it was a good idea as he fiercely barked at just such a dog. The other dogs, however, don’t really seem to mind his childish antics – they actually just stand there and stare at him like he’s having some sort of a public meltdown.

“Oh, there’s that pup with the issues,” I’m sure they’re thinking. “Dude, chill out!”

Then there was the day I stood up to take him out on his leash and he hopped up into my chair and made himself comfortable, looking at me as if though I could just leave him there and go walk myself.

But his success in the class, and my own newfound ability to actually give commands to the pooch and have him mind, have given me a good reason to be proud. He and I accomplished the unthinkable together – we made it through obedience school.

So tonight will be our graduation from dog obedience class. As long as we don’t revert back to our wild and rowdy ways, there’s hope for us yet.

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