Maverick pulls. He pulls on leash like he’s the lead dog and I’m the sled. We work on this little quirk every single freakin day. We go to the park, and we practice “Mommah doesn’t move when you try to pull her arm out of the socket.” Every single day.
We are apparently notorious at the park because sometimes Mommah loses patience with “I’ll sit here till you take a step and then it’s on, bitch!” and says, rather loudly, ‘Jesus H Christopher Christ on a pogo stick, that’s enough!” (H stands for Harry, according to my sainted mother)
Dog training is a fascinating subject. I read dog training books like some people read Harlequin romances. The best piece of advice I’ve gotten from my books is this – the hardest dog to train is your own. I can teach dogs to sit, stay, roll over, take a treat nicely from my hand, and a whole lot of other stuff. I can even take stuff from my BFF’s dog, who was abused as a pup and doesn’t trust many people.
I fail miserably with Maverick. I love that kid so much, just thinking about him makes me smile. He is so smart and so funny and so frustrating all at the same time. He’s indulged and spoiled and he blows me off when he doesn’t feel like doing what I ask. I would never accept that from another dog but this kid – I’m putty in his hands.
I don’t mind so much except that his bad behavior is making me look bad. My friends call me the Dog Whisperer – don’t get me started on Cesar Milan, k? – and I can’t even get my own silly pup to walk on leash nicely. And I probably wouldn’t even mind all that much that I look bad if it weren’t for the totally wonderful people at the park who find it necessary to comment – every. single. day.
“wow, I guess you know who’s in charge here!” No, seriously, who is in charge? I had no clue that being dragged into the bushes meant I was not in charge! Thank you for making me aware!
“He’s taking YOU for a walk!” Wow, how original! I haven’t heard that one since, oh, yesterday?
“Have you considered a prong collar?” Well, no, because I’ve considered the damage they do to a dog’s neck. (Nothing that works by causing discomfort is going to actually work – take it off and he’s gonna pull just as hard as he did before.)
“Maybe you should get a shock collar for him.” Maybe you should get one for yourself, asshole.
“Have you tried treats?” No, this bag on my hip is just for decoration.
“He needs a drink.” Apparently he doesn’t think so because water is anathema to him at the park. But yeah, since you’re worried, I’ll make sure I once again attempt to get him to drink.
And my favorite – “why isn’t your dog neutered?” What I want to say – “why are you looking at my dog’s ass?” What I do say – “because I’ve researched and learned that early neutering increases the chances of cancer in Goldens by a very large percentage and also affects their hips and knees and having lost one Golden to hemangio, I will move Heaven and Earth to keep it from happening again.” And what I also don’t say – “it’s none of your freakin business.”
I’m going to start telling people I’m training him to be a sled dog. (That was suggested by a friend and I like it.)
I think I’ve become a complete curmudgeon. Also, get off my lawn.