Thursday, June 1, 2006

Puppy Class

Miki (and us!) had a very good time at the final puppy class on Tuesday night. There was a bit of training, but mostly it was contest, fun, and games.

I took some time at the beginning of the class to walk around and get some “portraits” of our classmates. Maverick is the gray-and-black dog — he’s huge, and is just learning how to play well with others. His owner has the biggest treat bag (the size of a grocery shopping bag) we’ve ever seen, and its easy to see why. Gracie is the golden retriever; a very pretty dog, and very attached to her family. Sadie is the black poodle — beautiful and bubbly, always happy.

'Tis a fine class of pooches!

The first event was “recall” — meaning that someone holds your dog (and pretends to be a tree — Bree’s challenge for us humans) while you walk away some distance. Then you call your dog, and the goal is to have the dog run to you. Apparently this is a challenge for some puppies, but not for any in our class — no matter how far apart Bree put us, all of our puppies ran straight to us. Bree declared Miki the winner because “…he has such a cute butt”. Now that’s a good example of female logic!

Last week Bree (our instructor) challenged all of us to train our dogs to do a “trick” of our choice; demonstrating our trick was the next event. I spent hours over the preceding weekend in an attempt to do just that, but I failed miserably. The closest we got to a trick was to train him to reliably lay down, sit up, and spin either left or right, all on a gesture (and the promise of a bit of hot dog!). But that didn’t count. On the theory that he might accidentally retrieve something for us, we tossed out a toy for him — which he promptly pounced on, but just laid down to gnaw on it. Oh, well, so much for Miki’s trick! Some of the other dogs did some very credible tricks — I was most most impressed with Gracie (the golden retriever), who would roll over and do high fives with the little girl who trained her. They were terminally cute together…

The final event — and by far the puppies' favorite — was “play time"! We just let them go, two by two, to have a rough-and-tumble good time. And a great time was had by all!

Now I have to get back to work, so without further ado here are all the photos of the class…

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