When we adopted a six-year-old whippet in July and named her Katie O'Chapin (Katie is her given name), my mom the dog trainer asked me when we would get her into dog class. I saw a summer stacked with weddings and tennis matches, so I demurred. "We're a little too busy right now to commit to six weeks of class," I said. My mom was horrified. "You know, I've heard a lot of people say over the years that they're too busy to train their dogs. But I never thought I would hear that from my own flesh and blood," she said.
GUILT TRIP. Mom has never really guilted me about cleaning my house or eating less or visiting more. But not training your dog is a mortal offense to her. So finally things slowed down after the holidays and we enrolled Miss Katie in Petsmart's beginner Saturday dog class.
As dogs go, Katie is completely chill. She sleeps for maybe 20 hours a day. She'll sleep in however late you want to sleep in, and on this, we are kindred spirits. She is the perfect blogging dog. She's currently curled up next to me, sleeping, as I type this.
The only time she gets excited is when we come home, even if we've only been gone for 30 minutes. It's called the zoomies and she tears around our tiny apartment, leaping over the coffee table and flying across the couch. It's very exciting to watch, so we haven't discouraged her. (Hopefully Mom isn't reading this.)
Katie is a little angel but she does have her foibles, though. She will steal anything off the counter. One day, we got a nice loaf of bread from Union Market. We ate half of it, which was probably too much. I came back from the bathroom and said, "Wow, Joe, did you eat the rest of that bread?" He hadn't, but the bread was gone. Katie's dog bed was full of crumbs, however.
A week or so later, I came home and Joe said, "You'll never going to believe this. You know that bag of shredded mozzarella? When I got back from work, the bag was on the ground and all the cheese was gone. Katie must've grabbed it."
"Oh yes! That's exactly what must've happened. It was...Katie," I said. It was the dog. It wasn't me lazily shoving handfuls of shredded cheese into my mouth straight from the bag as I blogged and then tossing the bag on to the ground. Couldn't have been.
So Katie is a great little scapegoat. She's also way more cuddly than anything this skinny has a right to be. And she did so well in dog class! Way better than I thought. I think she liked to engage her mind, she seemed happier too. She can do all the major things (sit, down, stay), well, she can do them in theory. She has to have the right mindset.
My mom didn't cut us any slack in dog class, even though it's her granddog. She wouldn't even pose for this photo. In fact, we often got showed up by a tiny dog named Boo Boo who wore a bowtie and was the star pupil. No favoritism at all. But Katie held her own. And after her perfect attendance in class, she received her Petsmart Beginner Dog Certificate. It's totally social promotion, but Katie O'Chapin is certified! Now if only we can convince her to stop pooping on my $80 Anthro bathmat.
Here's Katie modeling my crazy new silver backpack purse while wearing her orange fleece pjs. I'm thinking she could be an astronaut for Halloween, maybe I could make some kind of helmet. Do you see it?