Love is All You Need
How can any self-respecting Baby Boomer not like the Beatles? I mean, really.
Already enrolled in three puppy obedience and agility classes, Miss Elsa was a busy girl while I devoured the puppy training manual from Guide Dogs of the Desert and the puppy training manual from another guide dog school – just for good measure. Then for my bedside reading, I had another puppy training manual from SuAnn Dwight a well-respected local trainer at Sunshine School for Dogs. There I sat in bed, 10:30 at night, propped up on my pillows, reading glasses perched on my nose, thumbing through SuAnn’s manual hoping to learn something to help me with Miss Energy.
“Dogs are more responsive to your tone of voice than the words you say”…yada yada yada….I know that! “If you say something in an angry tone your dog will cringe or even run away from you.” Yeah yeah yeah, tell me something I don’t know! But one chapter later, SuAnn said “Tell your puppy you love him 100 times in the next few weeks. Use a loving tone of voice. He’ll understand.”
OMG. I forgot to love this puppy. So consumed was I with training the perfect guide dog, I could not see this sweet little puppy in our home looking for love as a well as leadership. Within a day of “I love you’s,” the tail was wagging a little harder on the come. The focus was even greater. Love worked.
The next day in puppy agility class, we taught Elsa to run through the tunnel. (Yes, she did sprint through the tunnel on her first try.) In agility, the command for that activity is an excited “Tunnel!” as you encourage the dog to run through to you. I was so busy saying, “I love you” when she ran to me, our instructor laughingly said Elsa would think I Love You = Tunnel.
So once again, the “puppy” lessons learned are mine. When things get tough with our dogs, its easy to forget how much we love them. When our sweet, aging Libra became incontinent, I got so frustrated zipping and unzipping those dirty dogs bed covers. BarkBed Covers was born out of love. Fast, easy washable dog bed covers so you would have more time to love your puppy.