No Dunce Cap Tonight (or, She’s not stupid, she’s got Character)

Macy, our new puppy, is a nightmare on a lead. Her recall? Well, she kind of has her own agenda, so she’ll come if she damn well pleases to. She jumps. She has chewed through both of my laptop cords. We won’t even discuss the excitement wees.

She is also very clever, loving, clumsy and adorable. And smart. Did I say smart?

She needs training.

The first puppy training class was a head-burying disaster. While my friend Nadine sat in a chair across the hall, her pup Isla (a litter-mate of Macy’s) sitting tall and gazing up with adoration, MY dog was wrapping her lead around the leg of a folding chair and dragging it across the room. While Isla sat on command, Macy tried desperately to play with the other puppies. Poor thing, she just wanted to play. Nadine sat across the room, air-drawing a dunce cap and mouthing that my pup should get one.

I was told that Macy is NOT allowed to go on walks with Isla, as they are “too bonded”. They were just playing, for Christ’s sake – not passing notes and making pinky promises and swearing blood oaths. Pffft.

The instructor also advised me that I needed to work with her so that I became “the most exciting thing in her life”.  I’m still not entirely sure what she meant, but I don’t think it included wearing a suit made of sausages. However, I think it does have something to do with feeding her copious amounts of cheese during our own little training sessions, as the second week had an entirely different result.

Surprise! She did well. She didn’t rearrange furniture with her lead or lunge at other puppies. Ok, so she still wasn’t sitting as prettily as Isla (looking adoringly at her human), but she did return her attention to me when I demanded it. Mostly. Kind of. She walked past other pups without getting distracted by them. She actually “sat” when I told her to sit. I was elated.

I think Nadine was just a teensy bit disappointed, because the retelling of last weeks escapades provided her with hours of entertainment, and we didn’t provide her with new material that week.

This past Thursday marked the third week of puppy class. To be honest, I think we were both dreading it (although Isla is perfectly well-behaved, so I don’t know what Nadine worries about.)

Basically, my pup is the Bart Simpson of the puppy class. The rabble-rouser. When the instructor gave the direction for everyone to let go of their leads, she looked at ME and said “best you keep ahold of yours for a while”. I was miffed. Ok, so she IS a little bouncy. She’s just a social butterfly. She has CHARACTER. (And doesn’t that sound like another member of my household…)

In the end, I DID drop the lead when she wasn’t looking. Macy did really well again. Even the instructor admitted that she has come a long way.

I think I am the teensiest bit pleased. Oh, we have a long way to go. Baby steps, my friend, baby steps.

In the meantime, with a belly full of English cheddar, my puppy crashed.

It was a good day.


  1. She is the perfect puppy and I miss her. There is such a cute little up for adoption but I guess I will resist. But it is hard.

  2. Glad the puppy training went well. I did that many years when I had my dog Maxiemoose (she is with her Dad in Alaska now) and puppy training is one of the best things I could have done. On a side note, I have been teetering with getting a puppy…however, it is going to have to wait until after my trip to Europe. And I leave in 10 days!!! Good luck with week 4.

  3. Puppies are difficult. Especially the worthwhile ones. The time you put in now will be oh, so worth it. She’s a cutie, too.
    As an aside, I must know what your title font is. It’s gorgeous.

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