Monday, 17 November 2014

School Fees are due

Today started with yet another two hours of travelling to spend twenty minutes in a waiting room and five minutes in a dentists chair.

After poking, prodding and tapping on my implant the Dentist pronounced that all was well and my next visit will be in three weeks time. Only then will they finally take the impression for the double crown that will be anchored by the aforementioned implant.

I managed to make it home before eleven o'clock and fortunately had a relatively quiet working day. Having installed my front wheel bearings yesterday, I found the time to call a local, semi-retired chap who builds spoked wheels. I talked him through my requirements and he seemed pretty pleased with my approach … apparently former clients had turned up with 36 spoke hubs to be connected to 40 spoke rims and all sorts of other nonsense, so my fairly straightforward request was viewed positively. I arranged to drop the parts over to him on Tuesday evening.

30% arrived home well before six this evening as tonight was to be Whiffler's first attendance at school. At six o'clock sharp we bundled him in to the car with a large bag of treats,* membership forms and a cheque book to pay his school fees. We are rejoining the Dog Training Club that we used when Tyson and Marauder were young and it was a delight to see familiar faces still running the sessions.

The puppy class was the expected chaos of excited young dogs and we took our seats after registration and introducing ourselves to our new classmates. Neither us nor the trainers had any great expectations for Whiffler as general experience is that it takes a puppy a good few weeks to get over the excitement of school and work out what they are supposed to do.

The first exercise was walking to heel and sitting. We have already taught Whiffler to sit on command and he is reasonably used to walking on the lead so this went very well. From the dog's perspective he was getting free cheese for stuff he normally does for nothing! The second exercise was the real test … the recall. I left Whiffler in the arms of an assistant and retreated the length of the Village Hall. The aim was to call him and have him run directly to me. I must admit that I had real doubts as to his new puppy friends and 30% all sat in a row on his left. I thought the chances of him running to me were minimal. I gave the club assistant the nod and she released Whiffler. I called him, crouched and opened my arms to encourage him …

… and he charged across the hall to me, barely swerving in the direction of his classmates. The little Devil had, as they say, nailed it! The final exercises were doorway etiquette and walking amongst dogs and their owners. The former was a doddle as this has been ingrained in him from his first day here at The Pile and the second went well using a vast quantity of cheese to keep his attention on me rather than the other dogs.

It was a great start to his edumacation and I really enjoyed taking him along to puppy classes. I always regretted not training T&M further than we did, but the classes just did not work for Marauder after she was nipped by an unruly Collie.

Let's see how far we can go with Whiffler.
* cubed cheddar … he will do anything for cheese

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