Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

The Education of Greyhound Phoebe, Chapter the Last

in which Phoebe graduates

Phoebe Graduates

Phoebe graduated last night with a certificate in canine obedience. Amid the pomp and circumstance, she bid farewell to her classmates: Belle, Annie, Honey, and Teddy. She passed her exam with a few modifications (she still doesn’t do sit) and was able to walk with her peers.

This was a very good experience for us. At the start of class, Phoebe was basically afraid of me, afraid of strangers, afraid of other dogs, and wouldn’t take food from my hand, which is the basis of dog training.

After eight weeks with her excellent instructor, a former trainer of police dogs, Phoebe will take treats from my hand, stay, come, heel, and load up into the back of the car. That last is especially nice because now I don’t have to lift her into the back anymore. Most importantly, though, she seems to trust me.

She also likes strangers and their dogs. Whenever we see someone new on our neighborhood walks, Phoebe activates the propeller tail and tries to greet the new person. It’s hard to believe she was a spook when we got her back in October.

All told, this has been great fun and good for bonding and socialization even if she didn’t quite master the entire curriculum. So what does the future hold you ask? Well, like many of today’s young people Phoebe intends to stay home, hang out on the couch, drink our water, and eat our kibble.

That’s okay. She’s already had one professional career and retirement suits her well.

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  1. No one is really sure what makes a dog with such a normally friendly and trusting disposition into a spook. I’ve got my own ideas, but one thing is for sure: when a spook decides to leave her spookiness behind, there’s usually a patient, caring and committed owner in the mix somewhere. I know if Phoebe could talk like we do she’d say “Thanks Dad.” That goes for me too. You did good my blog friend. You’ll have a higher seat in heaven because of this.

  2. We like spooks. It’s fun to work with them and see them take those little steps towards becoming regular dogs. Thanks for what you wrote.

  3. Ridiculously cute.

  4. Phoebe thinks so as well.

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