So the day finally arrived. Our little dog Stella, 19 months old, went to her first day of Obedience School.
Why wait so long you ask? In brief, we adopted her 10 months ago, and she came from a home where she had been abused. (Stella needs Obedience School). We have spent the last months getting her to love and trust us before attempting corrective behavior in a structured environment. Well, actually she was ready to go to school several months ago, but I have been hesitant to sign her up for class. It wasn’t easy to commit to the required 3-hour chunk of class time every Wednesday for 6 weeks, plus the 45 minutes per day recommended “practice” time. So Stella has been ready, but now I am too.
This morning I packed up our little bag to take to class with proof of her rabies vaccination, a leash, and some of her favorite treats. As long as I was driving the 35 minutes into town, I thought I might as well run a few errands there too. I was barely out my front door when I thought… “What am I doing? Stores won’t let a dog inside!” But I was already committed. I had our class bag in hand, my purse on my shoulder, I had already given Riley (our older dog) a treat and told him to be a good boy….so I just decided to go and take my chances. I could either get some things done or have a really long lunch “hour” (2.5 hours!) in my car – with fast food on the menu since I couldn’t go into a restaurant.
But I have a BIG shout-out for Joann Fabrics and Home Depot for allowing me to take Stella into the store with me and get those 2 errands marked off my checklist! I’ve got to say though, that getting a dog in and out of the car, and buckled up in a safety harness, felt an awful lot like running errands with a child that still needs a car seat. I was tired before we even got to class, and I think Stella was too.
Stella did very well in class, almost always doing what she was asked. She also showed off what I had already taught her; how to “High 5,” shake hands, “dance,” and turn around in circles 3 times before stopping to get a treat. I don’t know why I taught her that. It just seemed fun at the time.
I think Stella is going to graduate with honors in 6 weeks. I’ll let you know.