Running my errands today I passed a canine obedience class, some poor woman was yelling as her dog ran rings around everyone present and the organisers looked on with that patronizing look that is usually reserved for mothers who swear/smoke/drink/live in the presence of their offspring by the Olympic mother team.
It was another reminder why not taking my dog to boot camp was the right choice.
It had been a possibility and one point when he was younger. Around the time he ate the coffee table, and I had to take my daughter to the shoe shop in her slippers as he had eaten her last pair of shoes as I was dressing her that morning.
I even went to see the local canine borstol leader. He looked me up and down and declared that it was the owner who needed training, not the dog. I resisted the temptation to point out that it wasn’t me eating the furniture or running away every time the door was kept ajar for a millisecond ( although it was tempting).
When he told me the classes were at 8.30 on Sunday mornings, I said I’d call back. I didn’t have the courage to tell him I was hungover at that time of week and a field full of barking and dogs (not altogether linked events) was not on the cards for that time of day.
My next brush with the canine Gestapo was when I took my dog to the kennels for a try out before going on holiday. We had to leave him overnight a few weeks before to see how he got on. This was worse than nursery school, when I just dropped the kids as the doors opened and ran for safety.
The kennel owner, obviously picking up on my very obvious English accent, asked which language the dog spoke. I resisted a grin but too late, he could tell I wasn’t being serious and the questioning intensified.
“How many grammes of food does he eat per serving?” “ Ermm, it depends on what else he’s eaten, stealing chicken filets off the barbecue, cushions, shoes, TV cabinets, you know that kind of thing.”
“How do you call him to come to you?” “TRAMP! - It’s his name you know.”
“What do you say for him to walk at heel?” “ Erm, TRAAMP!”
Slight hesitation with the pen used to fill in all these details on the registration sheet.
“And when you want him to stop what he’s doing?” I yelled “TRAAAAMMMPPP!” with the force of a woman who has had to go to work in her crocs on the odd occasion. The man dropped the pen and we both spent several embarrassing minutes under the table looking for it.
As I drove out I swear I saw him throwing the form in the bin.
He took the dog and the money though and we sneaked off on holiday before he changed his mind.
When I got back I was told not to bring him back, as any self-respecting French blooded beast, he wouldn’t leave the lady doggies alone and had to be sent to the corner.
Since then we’ve got him a lovely house sitter/niece for when we go away, we can all relax on Sunday mornings, and you soon find that a coffee table is pretty superfluous.