So I got a dog. And he's perfect. His name is Inigo Montoya and he's part border collie and part blue heeler.
|Inigo and I the day we met.|
Once I got Inigo, I quickly realized something. I know nothing about dogs. I foolishly put a PILLOW in his kennel.
He ripped apart all kinds of toys and I'll be honest I was also slightly scared of him because I didn't even know if he was a biter? Needless to say, I pretty quickly decided that obedience classes were a must because I didn't know what the h-e-double hockey sticks I was doing.
So off we go to obedience school. And once I actually knew what I was doing, it turns out that Inigo is a genius! Since he's a mix of two herding dogs he is, according to one woman my roommate met on a walk "the smartest dog in the world". It's fact people. He caught on to everything really quickly. Except....for leash training.
Leash training is rough guys. Because not only is it a difficult concept for dogs to not drag you around everywhere, but it's also something you have to face EVERY CHINESE DAY (which, fun fact, is what I thought the emperor said in Mulan at the end to Shang about Mulan until I was probably 25 and had been teaching world civilizations for a couple of years, and then I thought, oh dynasty. Yeah that makes more sense). Especially when you have a high energy, intelligent dog and you live in condo with no fenced in backyard.
In order to find a way to muscle through this, I needed to find something to help me push myself. It came in the form of another dog in Inigo's obedience class. In Inigo's class there was a real mix of dogs, some puppies, some rescues (like Inigo), but most owners at least were on the same level. But one owner did not seem to recognize that. This owner was annoyingly smug and practicing all the time that our instructor was talking while the rest of their owners were just desperately trying to get their dogs not to hump or eat each other. Scenario: I am holding Inigo's leash real tight because all he wants to do is sniff the heck out of the puppy next to us. The puppy's owners are in a similar situation while we try to listen to our instructor's directions. There is a short pause in her speech, we quickly check our dogs to make sure we haven't choked them to death and there's Roux's owner, drilling his perfectly behaved dog while Inigo's face turns blue and his barks no longer come out because I'm holding on to his leash so tight. Pretentious little prick of a dog/owner combo.
Now, I took Inigo the first couple of weeks, but one week I had to miss because of a performance, so my roommate Elaine took him (we're co-parenting). After Elaine came back she told me all the lovely things they had learned that night and then she asked me what I thought about a certain dog/owner combo. It was Roux. Elaine asked me if I thought Roux's owner was a little on the full-of-himself-because-of-how-good-his-dog-was side. YES. I vehemently agree and kind of hate that guy! I was validated!
And so began our rivalry. While before it had been a chore to train Inigo at home and I had always felt like a failure, suddenly it was a competition! Beat Roux! And so we trained. And we trained. I mean it wasn't anything like a Rocky montage but we did some good stuff. Every time our trainer gave Inigo a compliment, I victoriously yet silently said "Take that Roux!". Before we went on walks to leash train I hyped myself up by yelling "We're gonna beat Roux"! This always got Inigo very excited. But I'm pretty sure it's just because I was jumping and yelling and pumping my fist when it happened. He loves jumping.
Eventually we came to our graduation day. We had learned so many things, sit, stay, leave it, lay down, come. I mean, my dog is basically amazing. So for our final session our trainer decided to have us teach our dogs a fun trick: shake. 'Oh heavens', I thought, 'Inigo doesn't need to know how to shake that's just silly.' But when our instructor asked if any of the dogs already knew how to shake, I think we all knew whose owner raised his hand. That's right, up goes the hand of Roux's owner as our instructor goes over to show the whole class how shake works. And then that pretentious little dog shook his owner's hand....and I knew I had to get Inigo to shake at all costs. By the end of the session Inigo still couldn't shake. But he still got a certificate! So of course we had to get a graduation picture.
|We're still working on his modeling skills.|
|Also his ability to wear a hat|
|We'll get there.|
There is a happy ending, because Inigo FINALLY learned to shake, a mere two months later...But he's so good at it that it's ridiculous.
Also, he can also jump on command! Take that Roux!
Now let's end on this perfect picture of Inigo and a peanut butter jar. Because we can.
Disclaimer: Roux and his owner are actually lovely. I'm just obscenely competitive sometimes.