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The Big E – “Expectations” – Great Ones

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274 – July, 2018

BY ELAINE LESSIG

It all began when we bought our first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a tricolor we named Sophie. At first, I needed her far more than she needed me. She came into my life just as our son, an only child, was leaving for his freshman year in college. Pur- chased on a spay-neuter contract to be adored, to fill my heart, and assuage my need to nurture, she became the inspiration for all that followed. She filled my days and inspired me to enter the world of purebred dogs. Although the breed was not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club in those years, they were in the Miscellaneous class, eligible for an ILP number allowing entry in companion events. That began an adventure which continues to this very day.

Our former dog, an all-American charmer, who grew up and old with our son, was a Houdini. Every Tuesday and Friday, she would find a new and clever way to escape the house and tour the neigh- borhood visiting all the trash cans that had been set out that day for collection. I vowed that Sophie would be obedience trained. There would be no more running through the woods of the nearby houses early in the morning. My precious new girl would be the perfect pet…undoubtably.

Off we went to a local puppy kindergarten class at a nearby training center. Everyone signed in, got their properly sized leash and collar. Each of us got our training manual with its pages of instruc- tions and weekly homework assignments. Suddenly, I realized all the dogs, except Sophie, were big. The lead instructor then asked us to start walking our puppies around the circle on the floor after giving the command, “Let’s go.” Chaos ensued. The puppies wanted to go one way and the owners another. Quickly, the instruc- tional team recognized that we were all a bunch of hopeless novices. All I could think was that these big out of control dogs were a hazard for my little princess.

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274 – July, 2018

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=147011

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