Ha ha! I was having a conversation recently with an animal trainer friend of mine (whom I won’t “out” here in case she doesn’t want anyone to know about her personal vulgarities) and when I made a joke about Wootie’s recall being something along the lines of “Fine! I hope you drown in that river, you willfully-deaf, disobedient, pile of orange garbage!” she told me that her newest response to *her* ‘selective listening’ dog was to promise to kick him until he was dead.
I *may* have laughed until I cried.
This got me thinking about all the Frustration Phrases that have either come out of my mouth, or the mouths of my friends, with respect to their dogs over the years.
Why just last weekend, after the agility trial, I posted on Facebook something to the effect of how proud I was of Tweed, and that I’d left Piper in the dumpster behind the gas station on my way home. Which was indeed something I had threatened her with when we left the trial site.
In agility class, Tweed expresses his enthusiasm by talking about how happy he is. Loudly, rhythmically and eternally. It’s this great, booming, metronomic ARF ARF ARF ARF – you could play an entire symphony on the piano to this noise. He does it while other dogs are running, and it increases in frequency when he thinks it’s his turn: WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF. It. Drives me. INSANE.
Our class often runs late, and generally our last exercise is a timed run-off where we all try to run clean and beat everyone else. The next class is frequently coming in to set up while we are finishing up the Competition Run – and since I have two dogs who run 16″ Specials, Piper is often near the beginning, and Tweed somewhere near the end, so they catch Tweed’s run mostly. I don’t know all the people in the next class, just a few of them.
Recently one friend in the late class told me that I scared the bejesus out of some of his classmates by hollering at Tweed “I will reach down your throat and remove your bark box with my fingers if you don’t shut up!!”
(don’t tell anyone we were playing Dumball, okay? Shhh.)
Dexter, I will shake you until your testicles drop.
(Hmm. Not a bad idea, actually.)
My friend Finn, whom I’ve blogged about before, is like the tattooed patron saint of needy animals. She’s worked in animal welfare her whole life. She travels the world lending a hand to animals in crisis; she was in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, she is regularly at New Hope’s Casa Lupita in Nicaragua. Now she is heading off to Haiti in the aftermath of the horrible earthquakes that have devastated the Haitians. In other words, there is nobody more invested in the well being of the world’s critters than Saint Finn.
And yet, Finn has been heard to tell her dogs that she will beat them repeatedly with a 2X4 before sending them back to the Pound. Loudly.
I think people need to have more of a sense of humour when it comes to their dogs sometimes. We get so caught up in being politically correct about how we train, how patient and tolerant we can be … we forget sometimes that dogs can be really freakin’ frustrating, and that it’s okay to get irritated, and that without a healthy sense of humour about it, we might go insane. As long as you channel your frustration into funny … that way, you’re a lot less likely to *actually* take it out on your dog.
Last night Dexter ate my headphones for Skype. Whilst sitting on my toes, I might add, innocent as a Spring blossom, the little turd monkey. I *may* have told him he was getting the leftovers for breakfast, and that there would be no more real food coming his way, ever.
Plus I think they learn something from it.
Last night in agility class, Piper nailed her weave entries every.single.run. That’s never happened in the history of Piper. (Piper: “The dog full of GO, but empty of KNOW” ~ courtesy of Christine. hee hee!!) I like to believe the dumpster threat is responsible for this magical turn of events.
So what’s your dirty little secret? What threats do you utter at your recalcitrant canines? Don’t be ashamed – I won’t judge you! After all, my K9 Mantra is:
More Beatings. Less Love.