An Interlude

Remember how Wonderful Guy refers to my dogs as The Coyote and The Circus Dog?  The Coyote needs a new home.  I love her.  Very much.  But this is not working.  I am stressed all the time dealing with the two of them fighting.  Yes, I am a dog trainer.  No, in the two years I have been trying I have not been able to resolve this issue.

I started putting out feelers on finding The Coyote a new home over the weekend and even posted to that evil face page thing about her yesterday which means that all the other dog trainers I know now know that I have failed in my quest to resolve the issues.

I had to do a lesson with my Brazilian bikini model client last night who lives not too far from Wonderful Guy.  The bikini model client is a little bit of a drag since she doesn’t do her weekly work with her dog so we constantly have to go back and redo lessons.  For which she inevitably wears stilettos of course.

I stopped by WG’s house after the lesson and he was waiting for me with not only grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches but also frozen samosas from Fresh Market!

You see why I call him Wonderful Guy?


The Why

A couple of years ago I went to a Susan Garrett seminar and listened to her speak about one of the reasons she believes her dogs live such long, healthy lives: every day she makes sure each dog gets a big adventure.

As a professional dog trainer, my dogs are very important to me and an integral part of my life but for the last few months, since I began dating the most wonderful guy, I have felt like my own life and by default my dogs’ lives are one adventure (big and small) after another.

Case in point: yesterday, after returning from a most adventurous weekend in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, we were hanging in his backyard with my Jack Russell Terrier, Brit and his had-to-stay-home-sick (which is why Wonderful Guy was home at all) kindergartener.  We were about to go back into the house for a rousing game of Connect Four when Brit managed to chase down and kill a rabbit.

You would think the story would end there but I have been wanting a rabbit skin for the last couple of months to work with a client’s dog who loses all ability to think and thus keep a loose leash when he spots a bunny on a walk.  Between a post Bob Bailey wrote on a dog training email list and some Susan Garrett ideas I am fairly sure I can use a clicker, extra-good treats, the impulse control foundation already laid out in previous lessons for this dog (dubbed Sir Bites A Lot by said Wonderful Guy) and most importantly a genuine rabbit skin possibly on a remote control vehicle to teach the dog to control himself when he sees or smells bunnies.

Wonderful Guy comes from a family of hunters (I am more of a gatherer but we will cover that on down the road) so I was dearly hoping that someone would simply do the deed on the killing, skinning and prepping of this rabbit skin for me.  I even looked up rabbit season in Kentucky which doesn’t open until October so I was prepared to wait a while to get this skin.

The killing of the bunny was Brit’s Big Adventure yesterday.  Mine came afterwards when WG offered, in his suburban backyard on a Wednesday afternoon, to skin and butcher the bunny for me!  The kindergartener was intrigued but finally dubbed this adventure sad and gross which it totally was (although I made a case for this being a hero bunny who died so that other bunnies would not go down to Sir Bites A Lot)  so he went inside to watch cartoons while I held Mr. Bunny’s paws and tried not to see WG skinning him. Paws and ears were set aside to be dried as treats for Brit – seriously you can buy Aunt Jeni’s dried bunny feet for your pup although apparently not right now – and WG made sure all the meat was cut off for future training treats.  I just kind of pretended it wasn’t happening and said thank you a lot.

I very proudly emailed Sir Bites A Lot’s owner to tell her that Brit and WG had managed to obtain a rabbit skin for us finally and she promptly emailed me back asking if Brit was unaware that rabbit season didn’t open in Kentucky until October.