Golden Boy and I attended our first obedience class last night. He was a maniac. He has lovely house manners, but apparently his previous homes never took him out anywhere, and he's so excited by everyone and everything, he's like a kid whacked out on ice cream and spun sugar and chocolate bars and cookies and you get the picture. Or a country bumpkin in the big city for the first time, which in reality he is, having formerly lived in a what is described as a historic ghost town with a population of just over 2100. Look--a human--must jump up on them! Look--a dog--must jump up on them! Look--a tree--must jump up on it! Look--another human! And another! And another! Dog! Human! Dog! Must pull my human's arms really hard so that by the end of the hour-long class and 45 minutes of socializing afterwards (turns out I know 4 people in this class) she is nearly crippled. Seriously, there was a huge knot in my left hip by the time I got home.
The good news: he did nearly every command we covered perfectly except for down, which we will work on this weekend. The bad news: the class is outside in our local park, and the distractions were intense, and apparently worse than normal. Every ten minutes a group of runners ran right past the area we were in, literally within feet of us (apparently the local running club does this once or twice a year, and we happened to have our first class that same night). The conformation class was right next to us in the same field, but they weren't too distracting. Grandfathers were just walking their grandchildren up to see the pretty doggies. Never mind that one German shepherd was refused attendance because he was so uncontrollable and another dog was allowed to attend only if muzzled and sitting 75 ft. away from everyone else. Geez, Gramps, use your noggin. Something bad could happen if grandkid started screaming or startled one of the dogs by running into her from behind or poking him, and can you see we're actually in a class right now and not some doggy petting zoo here specifically for your pleasure? There was a huge group of twenty-somethings wearing rainbow-colored feather headdresses and toting the largest water pistols I've ever seen engaged in a battle to the wettest running all over and around us. The dogs were all freaking out; even the instructor got distracted and admitted it (and, she pointed out, if she was distracted, imagine how the dogs must be reacting, so she's clearly not holding the general canine commotion against anyone).
There was a gorgeous, very well-behaved Golden in the conformation class, and I murmured in CD's ear that he's going to be like that when he grows up, right? Please?!
There were about 15 or more dogs in class, which is quite large, so next week they are separating out the puppies from the adults, each with their own instructor. So CD's buddies Bertram, Ziva, Scorch, and Sammie will all be in kindergarten, and he'll be with the big dogs. That's good--none of my friends will see me fall flat on my face when the country bumpkin gets distracted by a soccer ball or a squirrel or a leaf.