With a huge sigh of relief and thunderous applause, Cooper graduated from puppy obedience class this afternoon.
On the way over I thought the Coopster looked rather debonair and urbane. Especially with that briefcase next to him, like he was going to trade stocks on Wall Street or something.
After standing outside of PetSmart for 20 minutes trying to get Coop to pee, he finally obliged and we were able to go into the ring. We even introduced him to his very first fire hydrant to try to encourage the flow but he was not to be seduced by the faded red and blue metal contraption that means “PEE HERE” to most other dogs. The Accountant and I decided that he was trying to hold it just long enough to perform his signature squat in the middle of the store and do his business in the cool of the air conditioning and ambient glow of flourescent lighting, just to watch us have to clean it up while people chuckled as they walked by. He’s done that twice before and I think he thought it was quite funny. But we were not to be outsmarted on this important day of days and we refused to go inside until he relieved himself properly in the crunchy brown grassy area by the parking lot. The Accountant and I are pillars of discipline I tell you.
We were afraid there might be some sort of final exam but the majority of class time was spent practicing what we’d already learned. Cooper can now do the following depending on how much he really wants the reward treat…sit, down, leave it, drop it, stay, loose leash walking, come and, my personal favorite – he will dramatically fall down dead on his back when we say “BANG” and shoot him with our fingers pointed in the shape of a gun. (Violence really is everywhere these days isn’t it? heh.) Consistency is an issue with all of these but we’ll keep working with him and at least we now feel like we know what we’re doing with training on the basics. I think our greatest achievement with him has been that we can now take him into the store around other people and dogs without him going into convulsions of frantic mad squirming and completely uncontrollable fits of utter joy at the sight of all the obvious glories that a visit to PetSmart entails. This in itself was worth the money.
The ceremony was a grand affair with four dogs in attendance. Two “students” were no shows. Pictures were taken (as you can see), cheesy certificates were handed out, speeches were made and graduation caps were provided. Just like at my high school and college graduations come to think of it. Humph.
From L to R – Kiera (boxer), Ike (Australian Shepherd), Seymour (Bloodhound), and Cooper (Labrador Retriever). And I have no idea what the dog owner’s names are.
Next stop, Intermediate Level. We’ll make a PhD out of him yet.