In training

We decided to bite the bullet and sign Homer up for puppy training.  Although he’s not much of a puppy anymore.  In fact, he’s well over 2 years old and tips the scales at 85 lbs.  But I digress.

At the first lesson, we “learned” that Homeslice is a defiant little bastard.  Near the beginning of the lesson, the trainer used a Pupparoni stick to get Homer to obey a command, and he responded very well.  She asked him to sit, and he sat.  She asked him to Watch Her, and he did, all in the name of Pupparoni.  Unfortunately for her, this particular doggy delicacy would ultimately have only limited effectiveness.

The problem is that Homer has what you might call a hyperactivity disorder.  If he’s outside the house, that means it is fun time, and he should be frolicking in the orchard among the dandelions, and dancing with the squirrels because they are merry.  So when she basically just sat there and talked to us for an hour, Homer got extremely anxious and agitated.  He sighed so often and so deeply that I thought he was going to hyperventilate.

So about 50 minutes into the class, she tried to get Homer to walk nicely on a leash.  “Look at me, Homer,” the nice lady repeated.  “Homer, Watch me.  Watch me!”  No go.  Homer was looking up, down, side-to-side, he checked the timing belt on Kelly’s Honda – I think he even managed to roll his eyes once – doing anything he could to avoid looking at this woman who, in his mind, was an evil taskmaster.  He wasn’t responding, so she pulled out a magical Pupparoni stick.  He didn’t take it, so she gently stuck it in his mouth.  And what did our good puppy do?  He spit it out, stood up, turned his back on her, and sat down again.

I can name few times where I have wanted to laugh so hard in my life.  Not out of spite or malice, because the trainer was actually doing a very good job, and she had been the utmost professional throughout the whole session.  But it was hilarious to see my dog openly and brazenly thumbing his nose at authority and saying, “Hell, no, wench!  I don’t need your Pupparoni!”

I know this is the type of behavior we’re supposed to discourage, but, damn, my dog’s willfulness is impressive.