07 December 2015

Peace love and dog training.

It would have been really easy to have been a snide asshole. The 100lb, intact, saggy knobby knuckled bloodhound was coming at us at full speed. He bowled Ruby over, and made a beeline for Otterpop. I grabbed her up, and Gustavo tried to take him out. Banksy just kept staring at her ball.

His man was far away. He called futilely a couple of times, but I could tell he already knew that was stupid. Rousseau wasn't gonna come no matter what, so why try? The massive beast plundered through my dogs, and I just walked the other way.

Changing direction didn't deter Rousseau, though. His ears dragging through the weeds, skin flaps waggling, he charged along with us, everywhere we went. Bloodhounds sure have a lot of skin and folds and wrinkles and bumps all over.

Finally I put everybody in a lie down, and held Otterpop up in my arms. Ruby was frozen like a statue, because she couldn't see where he'd be coming from next.

His guy eventually came over. "Rousseau! Rousseau! He doesn't listen." He didn't look like a jerk. He looked like a retired deputy. Or maybe someone who used to work at the water plant. Probably lived right around the block and had an older rv parked in his driveway, one of those houses with lava rocks instead of  a dead front lawn. With a ceramic donkey by the mailbox. A bunch of him live on my block. They probably have the saw you need to cut a hole in your garage wall when the mood strikes.

The stillness of my dogs eventually bored Rousseau and he moved on to the pitbull fetching the ball over on the other side of the field. We went back to playing.

That didn't last long, though. He came barreling through again pretty quick. No matter where we went, that thing followed along. I decided to leash everybody up and go, because that was 100lbs of knucklead against all of us. Even Banksy's little, that's the first thing everybody says when they meet her for the first time. "She's so little!" She is, tops out at about 25lbs. All my dogs melted into one big clump still don't even come near a giant bloodhound with no brakes.

So here's a trick we've done a thousand times. Everybody lays down, takes a turn doing a trick, getting a leash, and a cookie. Makes everybody happy to put a leash on. An interviewer asked me a bunch of questions the other day, about my training techniques. I was all, you should probably ask a better trainer. Had nothing for her. But compared to most people in my neighborhood, I'm the dog whispering genie of excellence. Maybe nowhere near the level gonna make me a Top Agility Handler, but on my block, people come from as far away as two streets over with questions like, will you walk my dog for me? Because they see shit like this. Looks like the dark arts if you're used to a dog running amuck all the time.

So they do their tricks, and leashes go on and we're outta there. Bloodhound with balls's guy is still far away, he's given up by now, and is chatting with some ladies in yoga pants, just hoping that magic will retrieve Rousseau back to him when we go.

So of course Rousseau comes with me, I make it around the corner and figure he's coming out to the street with me, so I'm not that big of an asshole. We wait just out of view to see if his guy will show up soon. It's getting dark anyways, everybody's ready to go home. Obama's giving a speech tonight, maybe he's declaring war on Pakistan or Isis or all Muslims. Who knows. Maybe he'll take all the guns away and start a civil war and California will divide down the long way and the coast will break off in El Nino and form a arms-free vegan island so we can float away to the giant garbage dump in the sea.

So his guy finally comes over. We're all just sitting there. Well, I'm standing. The dogs are sitting there just having a little boring time while Rousseau is flapping around amongst them and sniffing up some dirt clods. "Oh there he is!" he says, like he was surprised Rousseau was following us home.

"He doesn't listen, he's just so stubborn. Never comes."

"Have you tried training him?" I could have said this in a super smug bitch voice. But my current line of thinking is let's be good ambassadors for peace and love and good dog training. Make dog training look cool and awesome and more people will try it. Then fewer bad dogs ratting up my hair. I just want an easy life.

"Oh, no way. Your dogs can learn things in one second, but this guy, he's really hard to train."

So yeah, he is a bloodhound. But really.

"You have to really sneak up on him. Only way to get him." He starts creeping toward the dog, who is all, Creeper! and keeps moving along. Was sort of funny, in a weeping sort of way. Not really.

While intrigued by his method, it looks like it could take us til dark if we wait with him for it to work. I whip out my secret weapon, little dog voice, which he's probably never heard. "ROUSSEAU!" and that catches his attention. Long enough for him to stand still for a second and his guy pounces with the sneak attack.

"Wow, thanks!" He's got him in a choke hold, wrestling on a pinch collar and a leash. "Thanks for stopping and helping me."

Peace love and dog training. "Yeah, no problem. Good luck with him." It's cool. Be a good ambassador, my dogs are still sitting there all chill. Release words for the win. I do have some cookies in my pocket, don't leave home without them. They all know that.

"Yeah, he's a handful. Maybe someday when he grows up he'll start to listen. He's only two."

"Well," I say, pointing at Banksy, who has flopped into a down because this is just SO BORING, "she's only one, so it's possible."

"Yeah, but you don't even have to train that kind. They just do it, right?"

"Um, sort of. No." I shake my head. "We have to practice stuff every day. Then they get it."

It was cool. Probably will take Rousseau getting hit by a car or a big chunk taken out by a mean dog to get his guy to try anything other than the surprise divebomb pounce reverse recall. And next time we see him, we'll just do the lie downs again, with my easy one second training dogs. Whatever. Putting it out there in the universe.

Roll with the vibes.

Peace out.


Terry A said...

please collect some of this writing and start shopping around for publisher? these pieces, little moments in your world, nothing else quite like them. poignant, funny, real.

Unknown said...

Oh for the love of trained owners. Good one, Laura.