Journal excerpt dated 11/11/2007:
If you thought you were going to get out of hearing about our first home-school adventure with the dogs, you were sorely mistaken. Session One with Kathy the Dog Trainer (her last name is Polish and too difficult to pronounce, so I believe she had it legally changed to the former) occurred last night. Her arrival was met with a myriad of emotions and mixed feelings ranging from “will this angry lesbian kill our puppies?” to “will this angry lesbian kill us?” But the evening was a huge success, and she is great with the animals. There is definitely an art to training and understanding how animals — dogs — think and behave. You just can’t project your human rationale on them.
The highlight of the evening was when Kathy pronounced the pack heirarchy, as a means to help us understand how we all needed to alter our behaviors and status. The pecking order — according to Kathy the Dog Trainer — was Geronimo, Chris, Chloe, Alan, Samson. Yes, you read that correctly. I am one step above the runt of the litter, our famed Samson — aka “Dumb Dumb.” How do you even react to that? I’m next in line to the dog that is so submissive he rolls over and pees into the air whenever he sees you??? Chris, of course, gloated with glee and laughed his head off! The fact that Geronimo was top dog didn’t surprise any of us, but I thought for sure I was ahead of Chloe. Not so much. You should have seen her in the “dominance exercises” we put her through. She was NOT going to give in to me if she had anything to do with it. I had no idea she considered herself above me in the pack. What fantasy dog world was I living in? Go figure.
So, we have our work cut out for us. We’ve committed to at least attempting to alter the pecking order, if not some minor behavior problems — at least the DOGS’ behavior problems, anyway… The rest of the household will just press on! But Samson and Chloe, oh, excuse me, Chloe and Samson (all about reinforcement, you see) did very well in their first session. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for improvement and keep you in the loop moving forward. Oh, and sorry, there is no way to unsubscribe from these updates!! LOL!!
Take care all. Chloe and Samson (presently sulking in their bed because I’m forcing them to wear their collars) send their best.