Saturday, March 17, 2012
Dog owner now meaner
Although it was rough at first -- very rough -- I have come to accept and feel affection for our shelter pitbull mix, Ozzie. He's cute and has turned out to be a great learner. Combine this with a woman who tends to be a diligent student and strict master and we've got a pretty good owner-pet dynamic.
We're taking a beginner's class at Bark Bark Club that is going very well. Ozzie and I are solidifying commands like "sit," "stay," "leave it" and "down" (as in "lie down"). Kim, the instructor is great and I really like the class. Having just finished week four, Ozzie is showing signs of boredom with it, but too bad! This is the new order.
Thus, even though I'm now more affectionate with Ozzie, giving him long hugs, allowing him to lick my face and curling up with him to read a book, I'm also stricter than ever with treats and going for walks. He gets no food from me at all without paying for it. He must either sit or follow one of the many commands we now know. We're also becoming a better walking unit, with Ozzie staying at my side, not pulling, not running ahead and not stopping the show because he's rather go in a different direction. Now The Woman decides where we're going and how fast. The Woman decides when we stop and go. The Woman even gives him permission to relieve himself only when we've reached an appropriate spot, like a public park or the front of the property we rent. No more leaving his mark wherever he wants.
Right now sunlight splashes into our front room, hitting the futon sofa and the hardwood floor. When we got back from training class, the furry one spread himself out in the square of light on the floor. A few minutes later he switched to the futon, which is the one piece of furniture he's allowed on because it's easy to wash. A few minutes after that, I decided I wanted to lie on the futon sofa, but I found a dog on my usual end. When we're on the sofa together, there's my end and his end.
Did I take my place on the opposite end, since they're identical anyway? Nope. Ozzie knew exactly what to do when I said "quítate" and waved my hand. He's now where he belongs.