Christina M. Currie
Christina M. Currie's Touch of Spice column appears Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig Puppy preschool ended with our little one lying comfortably under my chair, not barking at other dogs or pulling to get free.
I took that as a solid sign of progress, but he just might have been weighed down by all the treats we'd used to reward him for the things he did, not just well, but purposefully.
It also ended with my girls, soon-to-be-7-year-old Nikki and 8-year-old Katie, running back and forth down the hall, yelling like idiots. They did not progress nearly as quickly as our puppy did. Then again, that might have been because they didn't get dinner before class and had a bunch of sugar during.
Hmmmm. Same stimuli, different reactions.
We left with a certificate of graduation, naming not only the dog, but us. I noticed it indicated that we'd completed the training, not whether we passed.
I suppose you don't want to break fragile spirits at the preschool age.
We do our best to continue training at home.
On an evening walk with Nikki and the puppy, we had issues. I just couldn't stay in control. I was too far ahead. I was too far behind. There were instances that can only be categorized as trespassing.
I just couldn't take it anymore. I put Nikki on the leash.
Really, we should live in a place where we can have our evening walks far, far from the public eye. It just gets embarrassing.
So, we're walking down the street, the puppy roaming free (but staying relatively close) and my daughter skipping away on the leash.
Every now and then, she'd stoop down and try to follow on all fours. She'd get up and pant occasionally, she'd take the leash in her mouth and try to lead me. She even threw in a few whines for good measure. She did everything a good puppy isn't supposed to.
And she loved every minute of it.
She even went so far as to lean over and pull up a piece of grass with her teeth so that I had to belt out "drop it!"
Please God, let no one be watching this.
When I decided that enough was enough and unhooked the leash, Nikki decided she was tired and I walked the rest of the way home with her on my back.
Should have kept the leash on.
We had no concerns the puppy would take off. He knows whose hand feeds him (despite the fact that he is supposed to belong to the girls, that hand is most often mine).
Nikki is more concerned when he's on the leash than when he's not.
"Don't drop the leash, mom, because Pan might run off, and then we lost the money for the leash."
Not to mention the dog?
Yes, that was strange.
But seriously, after you've gone a few blocks with your barking daughter on a leash, what isn't?