Thursday, February 25, 2010

Not Sock #8

Dear Mom,
Maybe if I distract you with some cute puppy pictures you will not notice that sock #8 is not finished.

Sock #8 is coming along. I got this far on it last night.

Hello Yarn's fat sock, "Figgy"

Don't ask me why, but I am trying to reinvent the heel. Or "unvent" as Elizabeth Zimmermann would have said. I may be onto something really wonderful, or ripping back to the ribbing. And why I decided to try this when I am behind my self-imposed schedule I do not know. The idea was just in there and it had to get out.

Part of the reason I am behind schedule, besides the other knitting I was doing, is the fact that on Monday evening I did not knit ONE STITCH. This is the indication of a really bad day for Kim.
Monday, it turns out was not the regular Puppy Kindergarten class, but Puppy H..E..L..L.... In hind sight, I can now see that there where several moments when I should have packed up the treats, grabbed the Young Lady and rescued Patsy from our nightmare. Too much was happening so fast- like prong collars and Teacher grabbing Patsy by the collar and having her dangle in mid air (a 'correction' that would establish dominance) that I was having trouble processing it. Teacher, it turns out, was having a really bad day and QUIT. QUIT!!!!!She informed us of this about 2/3 of the way through the class, after she had labeled Patsy as aggressive, giving her a bad reputation with the other doggy parents, or should I say Pedigreed Puppy Parents, who then felt obligated to say things to me like, "Gosh, you've got your hands full with THAT one" and "She just wants to be pack leader, doesn't she?!" All said with sympathetic expressions, a gleam in the eye and a barely concealed smile.

Now. Go back and look at those pictures. That is not an aggressive puppy. In the experience I've had with puppies, I have to say that Patsy is the most well behaved.

Things didn't get any better as the class wore on. I realize now that the prong collar, recommended by Teacher, was making it impossible for Patsy to relax and focus. Stressed Out Teacher was telling me that I should make corrections unemotionally. This said as my dog flailed about, hanging by her neck in Teacher's hand.

A pro-rated refund is on its way. Patsy is enrolled in a new class. One that does not use prong collars or choke chains. Patsy is a pleaser. Positive reinforcement works. This will sound very silly, but I do believe that Patsy knows she is good and smart enough not to need that prong collar, and when we put it on her, she was insulted. Barking at the other dogs and wanting to play were better than doing anything the mean lady was trying to teach her! As soon as we reached the sanctuary of the car, we removed the prong collar and Patsy fell asleep in the Young Lady's arms. I have only needed to use her middle name ONCE this week, when she thought playing with Sock #8 might be fun. I can't blame her. It is. See? She is a smart girl!



Bird said...

Poor, sweet Patsy...I had a 4th grade teacher like the puppy kindergarten teacher. J

sewcharlotte said...

you have a lovely puppy! in my experience pups dont respond to being shouted at, i taught my dog all the tricks he can do in a day or two (each trick that is)but he learnt them because he was incoraged a cuddled when he got it right :-)

Carol L said...

Sounds like another "bullying" incident. Makes me sad and I'm glad the "puppy teacher" quit! Puppies of the Carmel area are breathing a sigh of relief. Patsy is a GOOD girl and I love the idea of my fellow comment-er above. HUGS for good behavior. Thanks for sharing the cute pictures. You are a lucky dog owner. :-)

Michele said...

I can't knit a lick, but I love your I the only person who can't knit or crochet? I do have 5 dogs, though, and you are right to trust your own judgement. That nasty woman was in the wrong job. Period. Sometimes it is necessary to show dominance, but there are other ways to do that. If it had been me, I doubt I'd have been able to remain polite. Michele

Anonymous said...

Kim, I have a peppy puppy who just finished her training and I would have been horrified to have seen what you described. WOW. That is terrible. I had such a marvelous experience at our school that I am going on for another series. I'm so sorry your experience was so terrible. Hopefully that instructor is no longer employed there. Poor precious puppy. Give treats and a big warm hug. your dog is gorgeous and deserves to be treated with respect.

Cecilia said...

I'm sorry you had such a horrible person 'training' your puppy. All the various tools can be used appropriately and inappropriately whether they are prong collars or treats. Even Cesar Milan uses prong collars, as do I. And treats, and praise, and positive reinforcement, etc. I wouldn't want to walk my 85 lb solid muscle GSD without "doggy power-steering" as Ed Frawley at calls the prong collars. Neither Ed nor Cesar are anything but the most humane dog trainers. As your 'trainer' definitley was not!

Anonymous said...

OMG! I missed this one the day you wrote it! How traumatic!

I took the late Howard Lee to a highly recommended training class and when the UPS man came in, Howard barked. Frankly, I LIKED for him to bark when strange men came around. The instructor told me to HIT HIM AND TELL HIM QUIET! I was stunned.

We didn't go back. Poor Patsy! Poor you!