I’m still on the subject of puppy school - because I can, but also because it occurred to me today that puppy school is much the same as I remember baby playgroup being all those years ago. You know how it is, you go along to the playgroup (puppy school) with your little bundle of joy, and you don’t know anyone there.
You meet all of these strangers who have brought their little ‘poppets’ and you thank the heavens because your baby (puppy) is cuter and / or better behaved than theirs is. Everyone also has this misguided belief that theirs is by far the cutest baby / puppy on the planet.
You puff out your chest with pride when yours shows everyone exactly how clever he or she is and when other people comment on how cute they are. But you also hang your head and make excuses when they do something not in keeping with group togetherness like bite another attendee, make lots of noise and / or pee or drool on the floor (baby or puppy)
My sweet little bundle of fluff (that‘s the puppy not the child) who has been the soul of good behaviour since we picked her up on Sunday, suddenly became the devil incarnate (much like my children used to do on outings when I wanted them to behave like little angels.)
Okay, she wasn’t quite that bad but she was challenging. She was distressed by having a lead on. The collar we put on her when we got her and she's happy enough with that, but the lead was new last night and boy did she protest. She also wanted to use her teeth on everyone’s fingers, this comes more from bad parenting because hubby has been roughing her up and wrestling with her. Remember that this is the man who originally didn’t want us to get a puppy.
Last night at puppy school she wanted to romp and socialise and not lie quietly or do as she was told – how much does that sound like my household of boys? By the end of the class though she was exhausted and back to her sweet-natured adorable self.
Next week if she can sit on command then I will get the human equivalent of a chewy liver treat for being a good doggy owner – mmm can’t wait. If only getting my children or even co-workers within the project team to do what I want them to do was as easy as feeding them a few liver treats and patting them on the head and saying ‘good girl / boy’.
Using similar concepts though – whether human baby, canine puppy, co-workers or teenage boys - if I feed them and tell them they’ve done a good job at least I may not be pulling my hair out quite as much.