Fenway went to puppy school tonight. It’s his first night, and for me it’s the second time through, albeit for me it’s been thirteen years since I set foot in the training ring. He handled it well, actually. Like a champ. A teacher’s pet, perhaps? Both trainers loved him, and they gravitated towards him as he intuitively behaved for their commands. He even did it for me, the lead dog in this pack, and the guy he drives the most crazy with normal puppy antics. All in all, a good night.
He got lots of treats. And praise. I was taught how to behave consistently around my four month old dog. It was exhausting. And it highlighted some of the key issues I have personally. I’m a softie, for one. I need to get tougher- on him and on me. No compromises…he needs to behave. And I supposes that mirrors my personal life, too, whether it be writing, teaching, or just plain living. Be consistent. Be balanced. Expect high standards from all, and don’t settle for less than you expect.
It all makes such sense in the ring. With a handful of treats and some reassuring trainers it becomes a wonderfully rewarding win-win situation. But, unfortunately, when we left the ring that boy of mine reverted back to the pre-first day training puppy. Always testing my resolve. Always trying to be the alpha. And therein lies the life lesson: be consistent, fair, and balanced. But he’s just so cute.
And so, just like training, it’s hard. I have to remember my training and be resolved to follow through. This is hard for me, as I’m sure it is for all of us. And, like the picture above, it leaves a puppy (and a man) exhausted.