Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Graduate

I know, I know.  I'm risking pee on rugs and becoming one of those (gasp) dog people who talk about dogs like they are children.  My reporting is becoming biased and unbalanced.  But, I couldn't not blog about graduation day.  That would be Fonzie's graduation from training classes at the local Petsmart.  And here is the graduate... (Photos by Willie)

...contemplating the privileges and responsibilities of the hand-written paper certificate hanging on the fridge...

...realizing that commencement really means "beginning"....

...with Rhonda, the Petsmart trainer (who should have been a stand-up comedian)...

...and with proud-as-heck me.  For the two minutes that Rhonda tested Fonzie on all of the things he learned over the course of the eight weeks -- things like sit and stay and sit-stay -- I felt myself doing one of those beaming-from-the-inside things where the giddiness and delight you feel results in smiling like an idiot. 

But Fonzie was a crowd pleaser that night.  "Wow, look at Fonzie," the two other people in the class said.   One of them even asked if I had replaced Fonzie with another dog for the test. Because for those two minutes, Fonzie wasn't being his normal whining, barking, anxious-as-hell self.  He was calm and focused, and well, just about the smartest dog ever.

By minute three, the real Fonzie returned and the whining began.  

In truth, after about the fourth Petsmart class, I was kind of down on the course; I realized that we probably weren't going to learn much more beyond "give your dogs lots of treats."  It took me a couple more weeks to discover that, no, Fonzie doesn't actually know what to do when I say "sit."  But, he knows that when I reach into my pocket for the plastic baggie, he will probably get a treat if he sits, and that if he's been bad, he can probably make it better by sitting.   

And maybe, along with the pictures worth the $108 price of tuition, that's good enough.

1 comment:

Claire Just Claire Like Cher said...

LOVE these pictures, and many congratulations to the graduate Fonzie and proud parents! Can he have a party in the backyard with tables and plastic tablecloths and beers/pop in a plastic garbage can full of ice? Okay, jet lagged still. YAY, though, yay for Fonzie and you guys! YAY! And I love the pictures, they were just the laugh I needed after what you will soon hear about as lots of SVMMOTL! Lots of love XOXO