Dog Obedience 101

The town I live in has classes on a variety of subjects.  You know, Salsa Dancing, Toddler Gymnastics, Jazzercise, etc.  The one that caught my eye was Dog Obedience 101, a basic class.  This interested me and I called up and found out the details of when the class was held.  I asked if I needed to bring anything with me.  The instructor said no; we’ll supply everything.  I went out and bought a new notebook, pens and my favorite, a yellow highlight marker anyway.  I’ll show them how to be overprepared for anything.

I arrived somewhat late for the first class.  Intentionally.  It was my way of avoiding the small talk that ensues when strangers meet for the first time.  I’m never comfortable in such situations so I thought this was the best way to go.  When I entered the room, I could see that the group was mingling and getting to know each other.  A lot of yelping and butt sniffing and the dogs were checking each other out too (insert ba-da-bum here).  I soon realized that everyone was staring at me.  Finally, the instructor came up to me.  He looked a little like a boxer to me and his name tag was shaped like a dog bone.  He asked:

“Where is your dog?”

I said “What dog?”

“The one you are going to train?”

So I started to explain to him my understanding of the situation.  I told him that if I was supposed to bring a dog, he should have told me so when I called him earlier in the week.  I reminded him of his statement that they “supply everything”.  If a dog was necessary, then the course shouldn’t be titled Dog Obedience 101 but Dog Obedience 102.  Class 101 I assumed was a theoretical class on Dog Obedience, hence my notebook and yellow highlighter.  I was expecting it to be in lecture form discussing things like Principles of Dog Obedience, Psychology of Dog Behavior, Carrot or Stick: Which Works Best.  I assumed the practical application of these principle would be put to use in the follow-on course.  If I liked Dog Obedience 101, then maybe I get a dog to practice with for DO 102.  If that went well, maybe I’d actually get a dog.  It made perfect sense to me.  Apparently it didn’t go so well with the instructor.

What I remember next was that the instructor’s face turned a reddish color, not unlike an Irish Setter.  He then said 2 words:

“Sic em!”

I learned something that night.  Never believe it when someone says you don’t need to bring anything.

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