Tag Archives: Puppy Kindergarten

Chloë Earns Her First Degree

Heather says it so often that it’s about as meaningful as one of those pea-sized training treats. “She’s so smart,” she says, to anyone who’ll listen (usually, just Mike, and he seems to be hard of hearing). Well, now I am officially certified (see certificate below). And my excellent instructor, Wynona, even said that phrase to Heather at my last class: “She’s very smart.” And now I’ve got my “Diploma of Canine Excellence” to prove it.

Chloë’s Diploma from Puppy Kindergarten

Of course, I realize there’s so much more to learn. In fact, I saw a package with another three dog books arrive in the mail this week. But I know I’ll always look back fondly at my halcyon days at ol’ Ahimsa and that first puppy play time that set the stage for all future learning. Not to mention all those puppy smells in the alley by the back door into the classroom. I’ll never forget that overwhelming sensation–or the chance once a week to square off  against and sometimes trounce dogs twice my size.

It was fun while it lasted, but now I’m perfecting my “deferential down stay” to make myself look as small as possible. I look at these videos, and I can see the handwriting on the classroom wall.

Chloë Has Her Coming-Out Parties

Puppy playtime at Ahimsa.

My life is all about socialization these days. There are so many things that I need to be exposed to before I’m six months old. Such as cats and dogs and rabbits and trains and boats and people of all kinds. Last week I met a cop (who was covering a suicide in Discovery Park, no less), college girls in weird costumes, a teenager with spiked hair, a garbage truck, a bus with a loud air horn and several motorcyles. And those are just a few of the ones I remember.

Memorial Day weekend was big for that kind of stuff. First off, Heather was around a lot; that was different. Normally I can count on more nap time when that happens, but on that weekend there was so much socializing that there wasn’t enough time for napping. (Maybe that’s why I’ve been a little grumpy all week.)

Chloë herds Tsavo, a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

First we went to my weekly Puppy Kindergarten class. It’s called a “class,” but they’re really not teaching me much there. Mostly it’s the teacher telling Mike and Heather and the other owners what they’re doing wrong at home, and the puppies playing.  I always get to play in the group with the puppies who are larger and more rambunctious, but it really doesn’t matter who they are, I am always the puppy in charge. I’m a benevolent despot, however, and so I allow all the puppies to receive lots of the little treats they use (the teacher gives out pieces of real chicken!). If the other pups are anything like me after one of those classes, there’s a lot of pooping going on all afternoon.

Then we went back home, where Mike and Heather had invited 10 of their SU sports-watching friends over to meet me. Well, to meet me and eat some of that slow-cooked pork that Mike was cooking. The aroma drove me crazy for the past two days.

Logan and Chloë share a quiet moment at her Pork and Puppy party.

I had never seen so many people crowd into this little house before, but everybody said that I handled it fine. Even when those kids Logan and Leah were all over me, I maintained my composure. I’m hoping to cultivate close, personal relationships that will pay off down the line in future walks and treats in sizes much larger than those tiny training bits.

The sun finally peeked out for a while on Memorial Day afternoon, and we drove to our secret playfield to meet my personal stock broker Caroline and her two dachshunds, Pinot and Ida.

Pinot

Pinot, a longtime admirer and fan of the blog, was the more fun of the two, but she’s still recovering from serious health issues, and she just can’t mix it up with me like my homeys Frank and Stan. Hey, I may be just a puppy, but I understand when to turn it down a notch. That’s the point of all this socialization stuff, right?

 Ida, though–that poor girl has some issues to work out. Caroline recently adopted her from another Magnolia family that couldn’t keep her anymore after a new baby changed their pack dynamic (I’m not dishing out  any more poop on that situation). Ida, who is about 4 years old, seems nice enough, and she’s a redhaired beauty to look at, but she’s obviously lacking in confidence and has limited social skills.

The lady Ida

I guess it’s just going to be up to me to help bring Ida out of her shell. I’m going to start slowly, but eventually I’ll have her out there butting heads with Frank and Stanley, no problem.

Not right now, though. I think I’ d rather wiggle around in my bed with the gifts I got at my Pork and Puppy party. Let’s just chill, and tackle the heavy stuff later.

Chloë shows off her party swag.