Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 53: Held Captive

Yesterday, we went to our first obedience class with Ruby at the Grand Forks Kennel Club. This class is so much better than the crazy experience we had at Petco with the dog trainer that it's hard to think that these trainers could possibly be of the same species!

But that does not mean it was stress-free! Oh, no--not with a lab!

We tried to prepare for the Big Day by getting Ruby somewhat tired during the day, with lots of exercise, then sufficient sleep in her crate. We made sure she was hungry, cooked special "treats" to use in the training, ate dinner early, got her seat belt harness ready and reminded ourselves that our egos would not be on the line in this class.

And then we smoothly headed out the door to the car for class. Or tried to. First, I could not get the harness on her. This little harness is to help keep a puppy safe in the car so that she does not become a projectile with sudden stops, or a projectile with sudden bursts of energy during which she tries to consume the driver. Harnesses are good.

But you have to get them on said pup. Somehow, Ruby managed to have 12 legs and 7.6 arms that flew in dervish-like directions while I tried to snap strap A to B, attach carbiner to C, and looping it around to X etc. Trust me, between her needle-sharp puppy teeth, leaps into the air, and somersaults for belly rubs, it's no wonder that I broke out into a sweat and Doug sat nervously in the driveway, waiting for me, worrying. . . .

But eventually Ruby was locked and loaded and I hit the front door with her. She misses nothing; her mulching tendencies leave no twig unpulverized, and no gallon jar of Sun Tea on the front steps untossed.

After my feet were drenched with Sun Tea, and I had her in the car, we headed off to class, but not with the nice margin of time we'd hope for. We'd hoped that Ruby would get to meet all the nice people, get her exuberance at PEOPLE and OTHER DOGS under control in time to settle down.

But class had already begun, with all 10 other pups and owners sitting in a zen-like circle (most likely after the pups had been dosed with Valium and Prozac), when we made our Grand Entrance, hoping to slip in unnoticed. Let me just say it was noisy; Ruby was ecstatic and I'm not sure her little paws really ever touched the ground in the first minutes. The trainer paused, and announced "Looks like we have one of those dogs right here!" and approached Ruby. Ruby decided the instructor was her New Best Friend, flipped over on her back, and showered the air with dog pee.

Yeah. About that little ego thing. . . .

The trainer then slipped a little Premier Easy Walk harness over Ruby's head and middle, and Goodbye Marley! Ruby turned all angelic on us and with the sheer brute force of two adult human beings, we were now able to control her wiggly 29 lbs!

And today, we rushed out and purchased our own Easy Walk harness! What a Godsend! Now Ruby is truly a Good Dog and deserves these little treats sent to her by Elizabeth and Scott.

We ARE held captive, but most enthusiastically!


Yolanda said...

She's adorable!!!!! This story had my laughing and blowing coffee out my nose! Too funny!

Nicki said...

Isn't it amazing what the "right" equipment can do (and just after you thought you had already purchased the "right" equipment). Ruby has the 'angelic' face down pat, but I could easily visualize this story. Funny!

Beverly said...

ohmygosh, I have tears running down my face from laughing. DS and his gf have an energetic pup that must go to school sooner than later and it all sounded so familiar. That is a prize winning photogrpah as far as I am concerned. I'm going to have them read your post.

Anonymous said...

That was so funny! You tell it so well. She's beautiful, too. Sounds like she can be nervous (the peeing). Our sweet and energetic dog is like that. Watching the Dog Whisperer has really helped me with her. We used to pet her and play with her at the wrong times - when she was excited and going ballistic. I never knew that was making her worse. Oh, if I could go back and do it all over again! Sounds like y'all are getting on top of it right at the beginning!

Maria said...

This. Is. Hysterical!!!! I can just picture this! And the image of Doug sitting in the driveway, worrying . . . it's so vivid.

Ruby is adorable, though! What a beautiful face! I'm looking forward to hearing of her adventures!

Nancy said...

Reading this story had me in stitches. I haven't enjoyed a good read in forever!!! And, the author of said story is one of the best humorists in modern times....creative writing at its best!!!

Thanks for the most wonderful belly laughs I've had in ages!