Friday Bo had his first obedience class at Pet Smart. The other classmates were two beagles and a great dane. One of the beagles really had issues. She sat and vibrated the whole time with her tail so far between her legs it was sticking out between her front legs. When being introduced to the other students, this little basket-case peed on her owner . Guess what her problem was? FEAR. The other beagle's problem was aggression. This gal thought she was "Sarah Connor". During the meet-n-greet she attacked Bo. This caused Bo to go into Ninja mode. The trainer had to separate them; she tried to make light of it, but if Bo wasn't a miniature Bruce Lee the other guy would have drawn blood. The 8 month old great dane loved Bo, and he loved her. She just kept swatting Bo with her huge clumsy paws.
After the introductions the instructor asked us what we fed our dogs. The neurotic ate IAMS, the gang-banger ate Eukanuba, the dame ate Pedigree Gold and I had to admit our little gent ate "Old Roy". That's the Wal-Mart brand named after Sam Walton's dog. Well the instructor went into a speech about how the premium dog foods (sold only in pet shops) are superior to the dept. store brands. I thought animal protective services where going to pick me up any minute. The expensive stuff supposedly adds years to the dog's life, produces less pooh, decreases shedding and makes for an all round happier dog. Old Roy kept my Simba alive two years more than she was allotted, and when I put her down she had a beautiful shiny coat.
Now the neurotic beagle was all skin and bones. I refrained from offering my mother's method for putting weight on a dog. This method consists of feeding the dog a Wal-Mart rotisserie chicken every other day. I didn't want to open my big mouth and embarrass Carol. This dog was the poster child for hyperthyroidism. Her eyes were open like a she saw a ghost and the baseline vibration she elicited while being held turned into an all out shake when she was put on the floor. And when the instructor approached her she resembled a patient with Saint Vitus Dance. All this dog needed was some aerobic exercise music and some spandex. Bo had just been released from the gulag (kennel). He was in for 2 weeks while we were in Canada. Somehow he didn't burn any calories off during his daily twenty minute break in the exercise yard. According to the Pet-Smart scale he went from 21 to 26 lbs. I'm sure when the instructor looked at jumbo-motumbo she remembered the crap we were feeding him. I can't see how he can lose weight when we are supposed to give him about 10 treats an hour as rewards for obedience. At the one hour class he ate: one pigs ear, one rawhide chew stick, 20 liver snaps and five peanut butter snaps.
The instructor assured us that after 9 more lessons Bo will logging on the computer and signing his name. There is a graduation ceremony complete with cap and gown in 9 weeks. The graduates walk up the main aisle of Pet Smart and receive their raw-hide diploma.
Yesterday we took Bo up the Blue Ridge Parkway for a hike. All the twists and turns got to him and he barfed in the Element. Now there is no real place to stop till you get to a look-out or trail head so we had a nice 30 minute ride with his vomit sloshing around. Ben was thrilled to be in the back seat with him. We hiked a 1 mile trail which was a constant 10% grade. It must have been the elevation (5,800 ft.) because by the time we got to the top of this mountain Carol and I were breathing like a pair of draught horses. Bo did great with the walk and when we returned I just mopped out the Honda's plastic interior.