Millie’s Obedience School Diaries: Week Eight – School’s Out!

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Today, Mum kept telling me that ‘it’s the last one’. As I have come to understand, that is not usually a good thing. When giving us treats mum usually tells us ‘last one’ and that means that no more come after that. So in the case of the treats this is practically devastating, but with school in mind… well I didn’t know what to think!

I felt extra nervous today. I enjoyed the journey a little bit, but as we were approaching I started to recognise familiar things and it dawned on me sooner, where we were heading to. When mum stopped the car on the big concrete field, called the ‘car park’ I tried to jump on her knee. I never do this normally, even when I was really scared of the car. I just felt like an extra hug today.

When we got to the classroom, I could tell there was nobody in there again today so I followed mum straight in and didn’t try to escape. I think this pleased mum, but it didn’t mean I wasn’t scared and nervous like most weeks. I jumped straight up on the chair next to mum and that pleased her too, I know because she tried to give me a treat. It wasn’t a food treat this week… I think she has finally got the message. Mum had only gone and brought my favourite toy in the whole wide world! But what was she thinking?? This is no time for play! So I refused that too.
Oh, I should tell you that I was in such a funny mood today that mum was barely able to get any photographs. Below is one that mum tried to take, and that’s the best she got..

Millie blur

When everydoggy else had arrived, we got straight into the walking to heel practice. I started off well, but quickly got bored and tired. Then Ella and Susie started to shout at each other again, you humans don’t understand but the things they were saying to each other would turn the air blue. Anyway, I was really frightened and decided I would let mum drag me around again if she wanted me to do this. Everybody thought that was funny, but I didn’t. The Lady That Talks A Lot said that we should sit in the middle of the room whilst everybody walks around us. So that is what we did, I went and laid by mum’s feet in the centre of the room and pretended to be asleep. That’s really hard when you are panting a lot you know!

Next the rest of the class was trying some different tactics to make us think about where we were walking, and where the human on the end of the lead was walking. So we all went in a big circle again, and as we were walking around The Lady That Talks A Lot shouted ‘Left’ or ‘Right’ to the mums and dads. They would have to turn in a big circle, then carry on walking normally. I didn’t mind this so much, I like things that make me think about what I am doing. The only trouble is, with this strange style of walking, it meant that us dogs sometimes bumped into each other. Well, OK, we didn’t, but we came very close. I didn’t like this one single bit. The Lady That Talks A Lot said we should sit this out. So mum and I went to sit down and watch the rest of the class.

Class walk

That seemed to go on for ages. After that though, we did a little bit of what we have been doing for all of the lessons.Β  The Lady That Talks A Lot said it was called a re-cap. I said that’s what ‘we’ did, we didn’t. I was panting and shaking so much at this point, that I just wanted to go home. So Mum cuddled me on her knee and we just watched and listened to the others. I don’t usually like to show the others I need cuddles off my mum, but today I didn’t care. I stayed there until I felt safe enough to sit on the chair by myself.

Millie Watch

There was lots of talking at the end of the session. The Lady That Talks A Lot said that everydoggy had come so far in just Eight weeks. Mum said that actually, she thought I had regressed a little bit and The Lady That Talks A Lot agreed. She said I just wasn’t a very confident dog. Mum told her how confused she is because I am like a different dog altogether at home. I’m confused too, I didn’t think divas were unconfident.Β  The Lady That Talks A Lot asked if any of us were coming along to the other classes, Mum said that she didn’t think so because I seemed so sad. The Lady That Talks A Lot didn’t say anything.

Mum explained to me what she meant by the ‘last one’ in the car, it does mean we don’t have to go there again. I am so happy about that. But, it also means that this is my last diary installment. I wanted to thank everybody who has read and followed my adventure, it means a lot to me and Mum. As for the training, well, mum says even though we are not going back there again she is looking for something that might make me a little less shy… Please send help, friends!

Woofs, Barks, Pants and Thanks,

Millie xXx



16 thoughts on “Millie’s Obedience School Diaries: Week Eight – School’s Out!

  1. I wish I had an idea what would help, Millie , but sadly I haven’t one. I can only send a big hug to you and if there is something what makes you shy or scares you, call me and I will chase it away, whatever it is.

    • Thank you Easy! I love hugs the most so that makes me tail wag just hearing it. And, you’re a big doggy so it’s nice to know i have your protection if needed!
      Woofs, Millie x

  2. Congrats on finishing! Do you have any pup friends you are generally more social with? It might help you build confidence if you guys head somewhere together instead of on your own.

    • Thank you Will and Eko! I do know some pups that aren’t Myfie and Ellie, but I don’t like them very much either. Maybe if I just keep meeting new ones I will find some I like enough to call friends?
      Woofs, Millie xXx

    • Well, mum is good at the hugs and she has lots of patience. Or she seems to, she doesn’t get cross with me. I like to be out and about lots, I don’t know why mum thinks I need to do this with dogs other than Myfie and Ellie. Pfft! Thank you so much for stopping by to say hello, unfortunately I think we are going to keep practicing too! 😦 boo
      Big Woofs, Millie xXx

  3. Bless you baby heart! Some of those other dogs are really big compared to you. I am proud of you for not being an obedience school drop out. Maybe your mom can find a Shih Tzu club that you’d be more comfortable with your classmates. I am glad that your classes are over but i will miss your diary entries!

    • Thank you MK, that’s right! They were all so big and noisy and bouncy! I know mum was really tempted to let me stop but she thought it would be for the best if we carried on ’til the end. Mum has looked for our nearest Shih Tzu club, or even if there is anything particularly for small doggies, but she has drawn a blank. Unfortunately we don’t seem to be in an area that has very much on offer at all for those of us of a canine disposition.
      I’m so pleased you enjoyed my diaries, I enjoyed writing them more than doing the research for them!
      Hugs, Millie x

    • Yes Ruckus! Did you know that I actually have hair and not fur? Mum says that is what makes people less likely to be allergic to me!
      Thank you for much for stopping by,
      Woofs, Millie x

  4. Congratulations, Millie!!! You and Mum did a really fantastic job going to every class and completing the course. I think Millie deserves extra credit or even an award of special merit and dedication for her perfect attendance and completion of the class despite unruly classmates and feeling a bit anxious at times. I bet many other pups in your boots wouldn’t have completed the class and given up entirely. It sounded like Millie was gaining confidence each week, except perhaps for the very last class. Perhaps this was due to some of the barking and yelling and unruly behavior of the other dogs or having everyone walk around you in circles (if I understood that correctly). The way in which the class was run by the teacher seemed a bit perplexing at times from what I read. I think in Charley’s classes, dogs who barked at one another and disrupted the class in that way on a regular and persistent basis would have been handled a bit differently so as not to disrupt the class for everyone else, perhaps by being reassigned to different classes/times. And some of the exercises seemed to almost single Millie out in ways that would increase anxiety in any dog, rather than build confidence, at least from my reading of each week’s class. So I think you both deserve credit for doing very well indeed, especially given the demanding learning environment and degree of experience/expertise/empathy by the person running the class. I think previously you had mentioned possibly doing another class. Wonder if it would be worth looking into other class/training/school possibilities that might potentially serve to boost and build on Millie’s pre-existing confidence that she displays at home, rather than undermine it as it sounds like this particular class experience may have done at times. Overall though, it sounds like Millie’s confidence has increased in being in unfamiliar situations and sounds like she would handle new and unknown experiences with greater ease and mastery.

    Great job, Millie and Mum! Very proud of you both! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much Bill. You are absolutely right, all in all I don’t think that the class was run in a way that was beneficial to Millie, really. At times we almost felt as though we weren’t welcome because of her shyness, which isn’t how it should be is it?
      Charley’s class sounds like it was managed really well. We all know that dogs DO bark (heavens, Ellie is one of the worst!) but to have no alternatives for nervous dogs (and it WAS ‘training’ after all) was a bit silly.
      We have moved to another school now, and actually we are just sitting in on their agility classes at the minute. I met the trainers beforehand and explained Millie’s nerves and how she was at her previous group and they suggested bringing her along before actually enrolling on the course to see how she likes it. She’s still very nervous but the trainer thinks her confidence is building and we are welcome to just keep coming along until she feels entirely comfortable, which is just great! The best bit is that Millie really seems to like the trainer there despite her nerves!

      Thanks so much, Bill … we are trying not to be quitters πŸ™‚
      Carrie (and Milllie) ❀

      • Millie’s new class sounds excellent! That’s a great idea to just sit in on the class so that she can get used to it and see whether she likes it. The new trainer(s) sound much more empathetic and sensitive to her needs and concerns. Definitely sounds much more positive and encouraging! πŸ™‚

      • Thanks Bill, yeah it really is so good of them.They are definitely a much better fit for us, whether we end up taking that class or not. The trainer, on the first night properly greeted Millie and even carried her around while talking to the others for a while. Just that was something new, three weeks into the other course and I had to remind the other trainer of Millie’s name!
        I don’t want to push her into anything she doesn’t want to do, but if this just helps build her confidence a little, that’s great by me!
        Hugs, Carrie (Myfie, Ellie and Millie) x

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