You’ve heard of buyer’s remorse?
Every now and again I’m pretty sure some of us have adopter’s remorse.
Not that I don’t LOVE my Frankie. Not that I wouldn’t adopt him AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. He is my wubba-bubba. I can get teary just thinking about the fact that someday he will die.
Last night at our Canine Good Citizenship class, he was a crazy-dog.
Leaping on the instructor and the other students during our ‘walking in a crowd’ practice, and then during our stay practice – the one part of the test that he has ROCKED every other time, I took three steps away from him and he launched himself after Cooper, the tiny corgi who sits next to us. All he wanted to do was wrestle with Cooper (who weighs about 40 pounds less than him).
The instructor had to throw herself between them as I grabbed for Frankie’s leash. Just as I got my hands on his leash, he darted between the instructor’s legs to resume his courting of Cooper, and I was left trying to figure out how to extricate him from the situation without further embarrassing the instructor or myself (Frankie wasn’t the least bit embarrassed).
During ‘sit for petting’ he twice kissed the instructor’s face at high speed before she even got a hand on him.
This week at the end of class, instead of saying, “I’m sure all of you will pass,” she said, “What’s the worst that could happen? So, you fail. You just take it again.”
[She definitely wasn’t directing this thought at the other four students in class who had all stayed and sat and greeted a friendly stranger with little issue.]
Frankie was exhausted when we drove home, snoring the entire way and crashing upon arrival. He’d outdone himself.
I’m devising a training schedule that will involve a lot of time wandering the aisles at Home Depot practicing reaction-to-distraction and not-jumping-on-strangers (friendly or not). And I’m crusing the Chewy site looking for the highest value treat that might convince him that staying when told to stay is a good idea.
This morning as I took Hops out for a romp (off-leash!), I thought, Hops could pass his CGC tomorrow. That’s how naturally well-behaved and cooperative he is and he’s only six months old.
Admittedly, I am enamored with Hops. I can’t count how many times I’ve said, “If only he didn’t have long, black hair….”
Hops comes when he’s called. Hops doesn’t chase the cat. Hops stops hopping on people the first time I admonish him. Hops doesn’t bark at the milkman or the mailman or the kids when they barge in the room. Hops is gentle and sweet and wants more than anything to please me. Yes, he can open the front door to follow me if I forget to lock it, but he happily follows me back inside instead of tearing around the yard with a big grin on his face (like someone else I know).
And then there’s the running.
I’ve been waiting for Frankie to be full-grown so that we could run together. We’ve worked on leash skills while walking and he’s gotten better and better.
Recently, I began increasing the length of our walks to start building his stamina in preparation for running with me. We were up to three miles when last week, Frankie called a halt to the whole thing.
Just passed the Baer’s driveway, which is almost ¾ of a mile from our house, he sat down in the road and refused to take another step.
It was a beautiful day. Perfect weather. He wasn’t overheated.
I checked his feet—fine.
I rubbed his head and pulled on the leash, but he just wagged his tail and sat back down.
No dice. When I turned to go back towards our house, he leapt to his feet and happily sauntered along beside me.
I’m not remorseful about adopting Frankie. I told you. He’s my wubba-bubba.
What I am remorseful about is that I won’t be able to enjoy runs with him. And I can’t allow him off-leash because he finds chasing down the vultures who roost on our pasture fence or bounding after the deer, to be higher priorities than coming when he is called. I so desperately want to take him with me on book tour, but not if he’s going to dive in people’s faces or jump their dogs (in a nice way).
He’s still a pup, so I’m pretty sure his focus and obedience will increase with age, as long as I keep working at it.
So he doesn’t always come when he’s called? I love his exuberance for life and I love that he makes me laugh.
So he can’t contain his eagerness to share his affection sometimes? I love that he loves everyone he meets and he’s THE best snuggler.
So he won’t run with me? Luckily there’s a steady supply of foster dogs who are happy to pick up the slack.
No, I’m not the least bit remorseful that I adopted Frankie.
My only remorse is that I waited this long to let a dog back in my heart. Nick reminded me several times in the course of Frankie’s first few months with us, that my Lucy (the dog of my heart for 17 years) also didn’t come when she was called (hence our invisible fence) and she also exuberantly jumped all over our guests when she was a young pup. Lucy got better with age and Frankie will too.
Hops will meet his potential adopters this weekend (and how could they not fall in love with this perfectly goofy sweetheart of a pup?).
On Memorial Day, Frankie will turn one!
And will he pass his Canine Good Citizenship test?
Who knows? What’s the worst that could happen?
He’ll still be my wubba-bubba.
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more regular updates of foster dogs past and present and extra puppy pictures, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook group.
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