Saturday, 16 March 2013

Training the Puppy

Brio had his first puppy class last night. He is so tuned in to people that I think he will respond well to training. His eyes never left the instructor's face...except when a tiny moth fluttered by about a foot off the ground, taking its time to work its way across the carpet. Brio went up on all fours into classical stance - target locked, ready to pounce, let me at it! - and I found myself thoroughly distracted by the moth too. Two ADHD partners, doing their own thing in tandem while the rest of the class doesn't even notice the fluttering distraction.

Anyway, I came home from the class optimistic about one day being able to live without barricades, without moving all potted plants four feet off the ground, without Maple's tail being chewed to bits. The instructor is teaching us silent hand signals as well as verbal commands, so we can theoretically communicate with our pets from halfway across a football field. And I find myself wishing I had taught my children similar hand signals while they were growing up, so I could have summoned them (or told them off) from afar. The closest I ever came to it was training my kids that when they heard bagpipes start up a block away, it was time to come home from the park. My husband asserts that he knows plenty of silent hand signals that communicate perfectly well whatever he's thinking...but those are Italian, and not to be demonstrated at puppy class.

My 14-year-old attended class with me, and several times during the evening he leaned over and said, "This is fun. I want to practise more when we get home." Maybe even a new career option? (for him or for me?)

An evening out with my kid, the hope of a mellow dog and an undestroyed couch...priceless.

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