Wilson’s First Day in Summer School

For those following the progress of Wilson the Labradoodle, boy-o-boy did he have a big morning. First day of BIG-BOY SCHOOL. I didn’t know whether to dress him in nickers or long pants, regular or bow tie, cuffed or plain sleeves. After much whining and consternation, we finally decided to go with the casual summer pool-boy clip, accented with the blue collar and matching leash, satin stitched (of course) with his name and phone number. Very stylish. Very metrosexual.

Arriving on time, we hot-footed it across the parking lot because the asphalt’s a hundred-thousand degrees on any given summer day in Phoenix — even at nine o’clock in the morning.

Wilson then joined his classmates — a Saint Bernard just a month younger but already freakishly large, a darkish sort of lap-sitting, face-licking terrier mix of unknown age and origin, and a yellow lab in full-throated exuberance whose owner was clearly nonplussed by the whole event. All darling young doggies.

They widened their little puppy eyes, however, at the entrance of MAX THE ENFORCER, the hugest German Shepard guard dog on the planet who understands ONLY German commands, along with tiny little Alyce, his handler and our instructor. Max entered the room in full Achtung bark, thereby removing every molecule of oxygen in the room. As Max paraded before his underlings, causing dogs and people alike to cower in his massive presence, barking from some place that seemed to originate from deep near the bottom of his tail, he seemed especially to be in Wilson’s face. My little Wilson whose “Mom” nearly made him wear a bow tie to his first day of school. Wilson, I’m quite proud to say, barked right back.

Wilson then proceeded to sit quicker, down better, heel tighter and wait longer than said MAX THE ENFORCER.

That’s our Boy!

After class, we were each given a notebook in which to keep our weekly assignments and record our progress (or lack thereof). Finally, after a withering look from that frightening monster, MAX THE ENFORCER, Wilson was sent on his way to practice walking only … and ONLY … on the left side, as well as sitting nice and waiting so all humans go through outside doors first.

Hey, give me a pocketful of Bacon Bits and Wilson will do ANYTHING.

Still, I figure when the temperature in Phoenix dips below a bizillion degrees Fahrenheit, I’ll be sure to ask Wilson to place his precious patookee on the ground just so I can be a lady. Until then, it’s every dog for himself.

P.S. Clearly no disrespect to German Shepard owners/lovers. Beautiful, beautiful dogs! (But … does anyone know a quick immersion course in German? I just need simple stuff like, No, Max. Please don’t eat my dog. We LOVE you, Max.)


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