Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
Today is graduation day for the Beau Man. He’s completing his 8-week “Puppy S.T.A.R.” class (“Socialization, Training, Activities & Responsibilities”) at All Dogs Gym in Manchester. It’s been a great experience–lots of socialization and an opportunity to learn to work and focus on Mom & Dad when there are *so* many other–and oftentimes more interesting–things to occupy his attention.) He’s done beautifully, and has become quite accomplished at sit, down, stay, come and walking on a loose lead (most of the time). We’ve still got a bit of work to do on the jumping issue, but no one’s perfect, right?! Which brings me to the love and forgiveness thing….
Despite his rather limited attention span, this wonderful animal simultaneously displays the patience of Job. As I struggle to maneuver the clicker, string cheese, hot dog bits, lead, and, oh yeah, the dog(!) with some modicum of skill and aptitude, he often stands and gazes up at me with such a look of love and understanding that it melts my heart. You can practically see the thought bubble over his head: “Geesh, Mom, is it really *that* hard to ask me to do something, watch me do it (with no small amount of panache, I might add), press that little metal tab and then dump a chunk of cheese or hot dog into the ole’ pie hole in something under 2 minutes?! Teacher Nicole does it so smoothly and fluidly that the cheese is passing my lips before I even have a chance to congratulate myself on another flawlessly executed down!”
It’s a riot, actually. He’s whip-smart (as I’ve mentioned before), so it takes him no time at all to figure out what’s being requested, but then we have to get the whole exercise sorted out in the proper order. Yet we persevere. Working together, we’ve become a pretty fluid team and he forgives me my transgressions–one piece of string cheese at a time….