After thirteen weeks, our puppy obedience class is over. The class started off with nine dogs and finished with six. Through the course our dogs learned how to heel (walk beside you without tugging the leash), sit, lie down, stay, stand, and recall. They also learned how to socialize with other dogs.
In last week’s final test we were nervous. All that training, all those hours of teaching Kinako how to sit and stay, came to the final moment. I was standing waiting for the judge to start the exam, and Kinako immediately grabbed her leash in her mouth and started dragging me through the course. I could sense the points being docked as she would not let go of the leash and growled at me for resisting her. But what I really heard was the chuckling of the other dog owners. It must have been a funny sight.
The next portion of the test went no better. All of the dog candidates lined up and were asked to sit for two minutes. If your dog got up, you had to leave the ring. After five seconds, Kinako was the first one up! The walk of shame ensued as I led her out. The other dog’s owners were kind and had a sense of humor, stating that Kinako led me through a nice course and that I performed well at her command.
This week was the graduation ceremony. After all that mayhem she still got the pass. In a strange way it reminded me of getting my Junior Intermediate I certification. The important lesson is not to quit, no matter how badly you think you did. We are often our worst critics. As for Kinako, she was just happy to do puppy things with her fellow puppy friends.