My training regimen
Bandit, the beagle: Ummm, can I say…I think we love having you, and think you’re absolutely delightful. Is that right guys? I guess we also think you’re still young, and not perfectly trained. Would it be OK if I said, “Keep learning, and you’ll become awesome!?”
Me: Thank you! I’m so excited to have you as my owners. You’re truly magnificent in my opinion.
Here’s what I think I’ve learned so far. I pet you on command and have learned the perfect place(s) to scratch you. We play whenever you want to play. I play a mean game of tug-of-war. I throw balls and give you treats on a regular basis. You get to sleep with me, and get to sleep on the sofa and chairs.
Scout, the beagle: Yes, you’re a very good boy and you do well in these departments. Don’t break an arm patting yourself on the back–you won’t be able to pet us if you break your arm! HA HA! Giving us all your attention is just the right thing to do—it’s your job…but don’t forget how many hours you ignore us while you look at that big box on the wall!
Me: You’re right, Scout. I do sometimes forget to pay attention to you while watching the TV, unless you remind me that you need affection. I will start working on that one immediately.
Let’s get back to the conversation regarding my training. I think I’m pretty well trained to let you ride in the car with me on a regular basis.
Scout, the beagle: I LOVE those car rides! You’re getting better in this area, but you still need some training. You don’t let us ride with you every time you go somewhere. Gracie and I KNOW we deserve to go riding every time you go riding. You know we LOVE to ride in the car!
Me: I will see what I can do about that. What else do I need to work on?
Gracie, the golden retriever: I know! I know! You haven’t learned that, like, EVERYTHING is made for us to chew on. This is, like, a really simple task to learn. You shouldn’t, like, complain when I chew up Grandma’s Bible and all her pictures. We, like, know you give us lots of toys, but sometimes we’re, like, just not in the mood for toys, and something else taste better!
Bandit, the beagle: Can I say that you also need to learn that we are supposed to share EVERYTHING that you eat? Would it be OK to say that it should be one bite for you, and one bite for us? Don’t you think we deserve to eat good food also?
Me: Well, I can see why you think I should let you eat everything that I eat, but your doctor says it’s bad for you.
Bandit, the beagle: Doctor, Schmoctor! What does he know? Don’t you think he’s telling you that so we’ll be sick, and have to go see him more often? You know how those doctor types are! Shouldn’t you really listen to us? We know what’s best for us.
You know how your mom always told you to listen to your body? Well, our moms told us to do the same thing, and our body tells us that your food would be good for us!
Me: OK. I will think about what you said. That sorta makes sense to me…i know how I love food, and understand why you love it too. Please give me a little while to think about this one.
Gracie, the golden retriever: Thank you for your love. It, like, really means a lot to us. You’re an all right person, and we’re, like, glad to have you in our life. I think you, like, know how much we love you, and we know that you, like, love us too. In case you don’t know how much we love you, here’s, like, a few licks for you, just to show you our love.
Me: Awww, that’s going to make me cry! I love you guys so much. You mean the world to me!
Is there anything else you need to talk to me about? I’m going to get all emotional if I don’t get back to business.
Bandit, the beagle: Yes, this is really important! I hate to fuss at you, but please stop telling us to stop barking. Would you please not say, “You’re going to cause me to have a heart attack when you bark in the middle of the night? It almost seems like you want us to let the booger bears come in. What if they killed you, and we hadn’t barked to scare them off? Where would you be then? It really hurts when you get onto us for trying to protect you.
Me: I know you think you’re doing the right thing. I really wouldn’t mind if you only barked when you knew something was out there. I get upset when you bark, and bark, and bark and there’s nothing out there. Can you maybe wait to bark until you know someone’s trying to get in the house?
Bandit, the beagle: Sigh…why would you want us to wait until they’re in the house to bark? Isn’t it better if we scare them off before they get in the house?
Me: OK, guys. I think this is an area we both need to work on. I’ll try to not get as upset, if you’ll try to bark just a little less. Maybe a compromise will work for both of us.
(Gracie, the golden retriever): Can I say something?! Can I say something?! You like really fussed at me for getting in the pool without you the other day, and like shaking all over that nice man? What a bummer! I was like just having a nice swim while you talked to the man. I suddenly like realized I couldn’t be rude and like not say, “Hi”. Ladies don’t do things like that! We goldens are the friendliest dogs out there and I like have to keep my reputation up.
I was like so wrong to get so excited that I forgot to shake off before I met the nice man. Just as I got close to him, I realized I looked like a mess with my hair all wet and matted down, so I shook so I’d look pretty for him. Like, a girl can’t go meet someone looking like that!
The conversation went on for a long time. I didn’t realize how many flaws I had, but I will continue to work on the areas that I was told needed improvement. Wish me luck!
What areas do you think your four-legged “owners” would say you needed to work on the most?