Chapter 4 
(February 2015):

A Week in the Life of a Schoolgirl

Mummy told me not to make a fool of her at our local dog school, where my first basic obedience class started Sunday afternoon. I was one of the two youngest and I had a reputation to save. I had to create a contrast program in order to be appreciated, so  I walked nicely with Mummy for half an hour before class, as required. Happy Mummy. Not seen by trainer. Then I pulled like crazy to play with the other pups on the way onto the field in front of the trainer. Not allowed.  Unhappy Mummy. Mummy had done this class with Gráinne and Diarmuid, so she skeedaddled to the furthest pole, where she would only have to tempt me away from a dog on one side ;-) She knew how to keep me busy with heel-sit-treat  while the trainer gave his lectures, which Mummy knew by heart. First exercise: walk across the field - without pulling - and back, twice. By the time the trainer reached us Mummy had pulled out the jackpot: liverwurst tube and I was trotting along at her side as if I knew how to heel. Trainer pointed to me and the next dog and said, "These are the two best". Hahaha.   Some more lectures with heel-sit-treat and the next exercise: Same as before except I had to sit whenever Mummy stopped. Apparently they didn’t realize that I had created that dance step. So I left the grounds with a good reputation and Mummy waited until the other dogs were out of the way and then demonstratively lifted her patient Pea into the crate and shut the car. Silence. Anybody who had experienced Diarmuid’s car fanaticism was impressed. One point for Róisín.

Monday Mummy and Daddy’s friends from Bavaria came to meet me. They accompanied me to puppy school in Jade, with Mummy apologizing for the bad behavior I would be exhibiting. Remember my devil’s horns at the age of 7 weeks? I have to make use of them somewhere!  We drive 50 miles each way for me to yank towards other dogs and make Mummy look stupid. ;-)))  (At home I’m an angel.) Trainer Annika insists we’re making progress, but Mummy wasn’t so sure. She handed Wanda a camera and asked her to make videos. Camera! I’d better behave if this is going to be saved for posterity!  It could be used against me in court! So I concentrated on Mummy (with one little side trip to Poodle Dexter to say hi), doing heel/sit/lie/stay/front while we waited for our turn to do the corridor-door practice test: Walk nicely down a narrow space, sit when Mummy stops, (she opens imaginary door), follow her through door and sit (while she closes it). Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Remember: I wasn’t 4 months old yet and had been to this class twice, the others for weeks or longer, neither Mummy nor I had tried this before.  Furthermore, that was only the virtual practice round, for which Annika said to me, "excellent!"; the real test was with the real sliding door that leads me straight into this den of puppies! Verdict: Passed!  Mummy couldn’t believe her ears. Another point for Róisín.  To watch it go to youtube and poke in "Roisin Hoffman"

Wanda and Gert were quite taken with me. They all took me into Bremen to practice train, tram, crowds, elevators and we even heard a siren.

Then we went to a restaurant for Stint, little fish that come up the River Weser for a couple of weeks each winter, and I was so poohed out from the city images that I slept next to Daddy’s chair. The waitress is in love with me.

One morning I came back in from my early trip to the backyard and Mummy couldn’t find me until she heard Wanda and Gert giggling in the guest room. I got everybody up early that day, nibbling on toes and noses! On normal days I get Mummy up by whining in my crate at 7:15-7:45. She moans and takes me outside, where I do all my business, and then I’m allowed to sleep next to her bed until she wants to get up. It’s a deal!


Friday at Puppy Agility Mummy and I got praise for our contact zones with target: 2-on, 2-off  and I trotted around cones to the left and to the right. Annika wanted us to get used to the weave poles even if we aren’t allowed to do them regularly until we’re grown. I figured out that trick quickly. Oh! Trick! I have homework for my Sunday class: learn a trick. Mummy taught me Gimme Five in 5 minutes. Whew! It’s hard to keep up with homework for 3 classes. For agility we practice 2-on 2-offs with my teeter board on the patio and I go left and right round Daddy’s wastebasket.  Now I'm learning to put my front feet on an upside-down basin and walk around it with my back feet. Like an elephant at the circus.

So the week is up and we were back at our own school. I crossed the field and back, sat and turned and I presented my Gimme Five.  Then the trainer started to lecture to the handlers – boring for a Wheaten Terrier - so I tore some grass out. And some more. Mummy stomped it back in surreptitiously as fast as I tore it out.  Finally the big exercise of the day: walk in a circle with the other dogs: yank, sniff, yank, sniff. Mummy was not amused. 

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