I used to love Tuesday nights. Tuesday night meant Gilmore Girls and later, House. Then Gilmore Girls ended and there hasn't been a new episode of House since the writers' strike. Now Tuesday night means puppy school.
I do not love puppy school.
At first I was excited. I thought that Stella would thrive in an environment with other puppies. I thought that she would become more stable and possibly more sedate. Puppy school has not been a positive experience. Stella spends the hour ignoring the instructor, tuning S and me out and straining at her leash to get to the other puppies. We give her a command and she stares at us, eyes full of comprehension and a touch of belligerence. I wave a treat over her nose and tell her to sit. She sighs and sits slowly. I tell her to lie down and she scowls at me, thinking 'F you, F you, F you' in her mind (I'm projecting - this is what I'm thinking when my boss tells me to do something inane. Not that I think I'm Stella's boss; I am quite clear on our relationship and my role in it. If anyone deserves the title of boss in our house, it's definitely Stella.)
Puppy school is frustrating. Stella isn't having fun. S and I are uncomfortable with the instructor's obvious dislike of our puppy and the unspoken judgements of the other puppies' owners. Our puppy is sweet and spirited and comical. She will not win any awards for being best-behaved but if they were handing out awards for most-energetic she would win in a heartbeat. Her energy is what's holding her back in her training (in my humble opinion.) That and her limited attention span. Just watching Stella think is exhausting. My puppy's thought process is a little like this:
Oh! My ball! Do you want to pet me? How about now? Oh! My bone! Hey, did someone fill my food dish when I wasn't looking? *licks bottom of empty food dish* Oh! My ball! Do you want to pet me now? Now? How about now? What's that noise? Oh! My ball!
It's non-stop from 7am until she collapses into a pile of mushy puppy love fifteen hours later.
My puppy is sweet and rebellious and I wouldn't change a thing about her. That's a lie. I would make her stop jumping if I could. It's not so much the jumping up on people I mind (though it is getting old) it's her ongoing attempt to jump up on the kitchen counter. I don't know what she's planning to do if she ever makes it up there but it's scares me (the flooring on one side of the counter is ceramic tiles and on the other side it's hardwood floor - neither provide a soft landing surface for when she wants to jump off the counter.)
Tonight we head to our fourth puppy class. The halfway mark. Give me strength.