Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Perfect Dogs Raised By The Perfect Dog Trainer

Are you as big a fan of decorating as I am?? Do you stalk the decorating blogs and yearn for the time, the talent, and the HOME that many of these decorators have?

For many dog owners, a beautifully staged home free of toy-stuffing and dog hair is but a dream...

I do what I can and I think my decor is comfortable and pleasant, but I don't have the energy to keep my home in pristine condition - you will not be finding me on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens any time soon. I'm insanely jealous of the bloggers who have homes that all seem to be on the same block in the neighborhood known as Paradise.

In one of the decorating blogs I was reading yesterday, the author confessed, "don't think my home is always this tidy, I staged it just for this shot." HA! I knew it!!!

This made me think about what I want readers to get out of my blog. The purpose of Paws to Rufflect is to put out there that although I am a dog trainer by profession, I still have my fair share of mistakes, blunders and imperfections. I have the skills necessary to fix Kuna's loose-leash walking so that when we're out in public, people may think I have a "perfect" dog. It's marketing to the public - it's proving that I can train you to train your dog. But it certainly doesn't mean my dogs and their trainer are perfect!

In fact, I thought it would be funny to make a list of all the irritating silly things my dogs do. Compare, contrast, feel blessed yours might not be that bad after all.

Kuna counter-surfs like a demon. If he were ever a stray, he'd probably survive the longest because he can find food in places that make you scratch your head and think "how...what...huh!!???"

  • whines more than a newborn pup. Just when we think we've got a handle on it, he's whining again. He whines to go potty, which we appreciate. He also whines just to hear himself whine, which we do not appreciate.

Sarah drools at the simple thought of food. She is a direct decendent of a Pavlov dog.

  • eats her own poop. ugh. don't even get me started...

  • doesn't like eye contact. This is a common thing with canines, but Sarah will lunge "out of the blue" if a passerby maintains eye contact with her.

  • takes care of her personal our bed.

  • strongly dislikes horseplay and rough-housing, whether it's canines or humans. No one gets to have fun around Sarah.

  • hates Bizzle.

Bizzle hates Sarah. Hackles up, glaring out of the corner of her eye, huffing and puffing...they have to be separated 24/7.

  • every day at 3 pm, she begins her afternoon randomness. She pitter patters around, follows me everywhere I go, stares at me in anticipation of something we have yet to figure out, then starts howling/barking at me. There's something we're missing, of course. She's probably wondering when we'll get the message.

  • hates the cold, rain or snow. Won't even go out to potty. Where she "goes" or how she holds it, we may never know.

  • burrows through a freshly made bed. Every time.

  • pulls on the leash (GASP!) - since we moved to the country, we gave up and just got a retractable. Be free, Bizzle. At least to a distance of 15 feet.

I'm not ashamed to admit that my family of four-legged freaks is not perfect. I've dropped the ball countless times and sure, I could probably fix (almost) all the things on this list. Between you and I, some of these things I don't fix because they make my dogs who they are...I've learned to love them. When they're gone, I'll miss every single thing on this list.

I worked with a client once who told me, "I wish my dog walked next to me like the woman's dogs down the street...instead, I have this terrible puller." I laughed and told her those dogs probably poop in the dishwasher. We got a good laugh out of that, then worked hard on her boy's leash manners. He is doing well but she said she'll never look at that woman's dogs the same. :)



  1. I love that you share the "real poop" of living with your dogs. It's such a good reminder that we're not put on this earth to create dogs that are perfect but to form relationships with beings that have good and bad habits just like we do.

    Isn't it crazy for people to expect that if you just do the right training that our dogs will never "misbehave" even though humans can't keep ourselves from overeating, watching too much TV, complaining, or whatever the human counterparts are to counter surfing, pulling on the leash, or eating poop.

  2. You phrased it so perfectly - living (and loving) our dogs' imperfections has a way of making us better humans. :)

  3. Hey pretty lady!

    I love this so much and can't agree more. I know of a trainer who said on his company's FB page, "Well, OBVIOUSLY my dog would NEVER pull on leash because I am a trainer."

    BS. I've seen his dog pulling him all over the place when no clients are looking.

    We don't do our clients any favors when we act like our dogs are perfect or like we never make mistakes. My dogs aren't perfect either (well, Cuba's darned near close, if I may say so) - Mokie's recall will be a work in progress for the rest of her life.

    Great, courageous blog. I love it.

  4. Thanks Casey, you're so right! It takes a lot of pressure off knowing there are no longer expectations of perfection, leaving a lot more time to just enjoy our dogs!