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

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LAST ONE
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.

NO PUBLICITY
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

AROUND IN CIRCLES
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!

DISQUALIFIED
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.  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

SHY AND RETIRING
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 unconfidentThe 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.

THE END
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

 

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Millie’s Obedience School Diaries: Week Seven

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I won’t tell mum, but I am really starting to enjoy the car trips now. In fact, every time we pass the car, even to go on normal walks; I try to get in it. So today was great because when I tried, mum opened the door and let me jump in (which I can do all by myself now, not sure I mentioned). I was so excited. I like that as soon as she opens the windows I can climb up on the door ledge and smell all the interesting new things around us. It is also useful for seeing,

photo 1

DÉJÀ VU
I’ve even learned how to ignore mum’s awful howling now. I think she calls it ‘singing’ but she sounds just like Ellie when she’s moaning. Anyway, after a while riding in the car, we stopped and I had a sneaking suspicion I had seen THIS place before. ‘OH NOOOO’ we haven’t been here for ages, I thought we didn’t have to come anymore.

photo 2

ATTACKED!
Well anyway, once we got into the big room, there was nobody there again. We were the first and I really didn’t mind that at all. It was ages until anybody else turned up, but guess who it was? Ella and her mum! They came straight over to us, and mum didn’t seem to even mind. She stoked her, but Ella wanted to play with me. I backed away, but she thought I was playing! and she batted me with her great big paw! Right in the middle of my back! I squealed and I know I frightened mum, but honestly her paw is as big as my HEAD and it was really scary. Mum felt awful for not concentrating… and so she should, my life was in DANGER and she thought a cuddle would make it all ok? Well, NO!

Alright, I wasn’t really hurt, it was just the shock. I wanted to make Ella feel bad really, but that didn’t work and from then on for the whole of class she kept pulling on her lead towards ME. I milked this situation for all it was worth of course. Mum knew how upset I was so I knew she wouldn’t try to make me do much I didn’t want to today.

After that only two more families turned up! I don’t know where everybody else had got to, but I wish we had gone there instead, too. There are usually over double the amount of us. Still at least it was nicer and much quieter. For the first part of the evening, the mums, dads and The Lady That Talks A Lot all just sat around and talked a lot. It was all really boring but I used this time to try and sneak under the chair where I feel most comfortable. I was busted.

photo 9

GETTING TO WORK
We did some more walking-to-heel in a big circle, the room seemed much bigger since there were so few of us. I did keep up though because Ella was behind me and she kept speeding up to get to me. After that we did some more ‘Stay’ work, I didn’t do very well today because I was so traumatised, but mum wasn’t mad. The Lady That Talks A Lot even said I was being brave, because when mum crossed the room I followed her; walking (well, crawling on my belly, really) between Ella and Suzie to do so. But there was no way I was letting her out of my sight after I had been so viciously attacked.
The others did some ‘food refusal’ work but we just watched that … you know the reason why by now, right? The really stinky treats that mum brought with her tonight didn’t fool me.

I think the The Lady That Talks A Lot went a bit mad and forgot what we were doing, because after that she had us doing all of the walking-to-heel stuff again. I played ball last time, so this time I just flat-out refused and when mum started walking I laid down with my back to her. Did I care that all the mums and dads laughed at me?

photo 8

SOMETHING NEW
To stop it from being as boring, The Lady That Talks A Lot thought we might like to play a little game to help us with our heel work. She went to her cupboard, where I know she keeps all of the toys and collars and leads, and pulled out these tiny little cone things. Ella really wanted to chew on them but she wasn’t allowed. In fact, we weren’t allowed to touch them at all and this was the whole point. The Lady That Talks a Lot, put them right across the centre of the room and we had to weave through them. With all the weaving and changing directions, it was much too hard to let mum pull me along the floor so I had to stand up and do it properly.
The Lady That Talks A Lot then took away a lot of them and left us with just three. We had to go around them all in a big circle, then around the one in the middle and lastly the ones right at the end in a tiny circle. This wasn’t too hard since I was walking on the outside of mum so she was doing all of the hard work really. I just followed her lead. We all took it in turns, so there were no distractions from Ella the other dogs.

photo 5

After that, we did it the other way around. I walked on the inside of mum, closest to the cones. This meant that I really had to watch where I was going so as to not knock them over. The lady That Talks A Lot said to mum that she thought I enjoyed that because my tail started to come up, instead of being down all of the time. I think she was seeing things. But I suppose there was a lot more to think about than the other dogs, so my concentration was elsewhere…maybe?

Anyway, after that we were done apart from some more talking. Next week is our LAST SCHOOL NIGHT!! Hurray!But The Lady That Talks A Lot, was talking about ANOTHER course to start after this one. It was called the Good Citizen Bronze Award, which, if I’m honest doesn’t sound right for a Diva like me. All that work for Bronze?? Mum did say that she wasn’t sure I would do it, but The Lady That Talks A Lot said that not many dogs ever fail that course… sounds like a challenge to me! 🙂

Big Woofs, Millie x

Millie’s Obedience School Diaries: Week Six

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Woah! Yesterday was a really big day. It started off quite normal, nice and relaxing and then at about lunch time Ellie let off the ‘WooWooWoo’ siren *uh-oh* This means that the grooming van is in the area. It’s never wasted effort because she is always right; two minutes later and the big thing squeezed into the driveway. Mum had forgotten! So she hadn’t had the time to put Ellie’s ‘calm down’ top on her. I was shaking when Carol (that’s the grooming lady) took me, even though I quite like it. Mum reckons we caught it off Ellie, she’s probably right because she does wind us up by being so scared and noisy.

BETRAYED
Anyway, when I came out, mum and Carol were talking about school. Carol said she had ‘had a word’ with me about being so scared, she didn’t tell mum what was said… that’s our secret. The thing is she really is undoing all my good work, because I know mum was feeling bad about taking me when I hate it so much. Carol told her it was GOOD FOR ME, and that maybe mum should be TOUGHER! What even is this woman??

Anyway, when it came to go I was really excited. I always am! I know mum is confused by this, but I just like to be out with her; I don’t really mind where we are going. I even enjoyed the car ride this week. I didn’t cry or whine ONCE on the way there. I got up and looked out of the window a lot; it’s quite nice, you should definitely try that! Mum even treated me for having a good time. What?? haha I’m not complaining, though.

Millie so happy

SAVED BY THE PRAISE
I DID try to escape once we went through the classroom door again… but get this! There was nobody there! Just us and the Lady That Talks a Lot. I was so happy about this, I had a little trot around and gave mum by best smiles. I sat up on the chair and mum gave me a treat. Thankfully mum said I was a ‘good girl’ just at the right time, reminding me that I am too scared to eat here, so I spat the treat back out…*phew* I was thinking maybe this wasn’t so bad at all and really started to settle down. But then I heard a familiar bark, coming from the corridor.

Millie waits

ROLL OVER, OVER, OVER AGAIN
Ella. It was Ella the German Shepard *groan* and pretty soon after that the whole class were there *Boo* We were soon all up and walking around in circles… so dull! I couldn’t be bothered again, mum wasn’t happy but I find it really borinzZz. So I was dragging on the lead and every time we passed the Lady That Talks a Lot I tried to sit down and not move at all. Mum was having NONE of that this week, she just picked me up and put me back on my feet. *sigh* we did this for ages and ages, then we did a ‘health check’ *yawn* and then we practiced everything we had learned in the beginning; Sit, up, lie down, stand up *eye roll*. We practiced food refusal again ‘leave it, take it’… well we didn’t because, you know why! But mum insists on practicing this at home anyway.

TOYS!
Then we were allowed to sit back in our seats and the Lady That Talks a Lot went and got a huge box out of the cupboard and she tipped it all over the floor. It was FULL of balls and ropes and amazingness! She was telling all the mums and dads about the different types of toys and how to select good ones. She pretty much seemed to be saying that anything is good for us, unless they cause a choking hazard. Mum pointed out that a lot of my toys don’t have anything that I might choke on at first, but after a few moments of play that all changes. I don’t know what she means!
The Lady that Talks a Lot was telling us what her dogs like to play with, and that she doesn’t like them playing with toys that squeak because she can’t stand the noise, so she TAKES THE SQUEAKERS OUT before she gives them over. I checked mum’s face because this is not an idea I like the sound of, and she looked pretty mortified too, so at least I know we are safe! Can you imagine toys without squeak?? She showed us what she considered her worst toy ever, and it just so happens it’s my favourite toy ever. Little Air Kong squeaky tennis balls, I sat up for this part because I hoped she might let me play. She didn’t 😦

Millie listen

SPECIAL TREATS
The talk did seem to go on for a long time, but when it was done we were allowed to leave, hurray!
I had a little nap in the car and when I woke up… we weren’t at home. Mum let me out of the car and we were at THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD! Pets at Home! I was so excited. Mum hates this photo because of something to do with the look of it, but I wanted to show you because it sums up what I think about this place (and the sort of photos mum can get here).

millie lick

There’s so much to smell and so much to see, though we aren’t allowed everywhere because I’m not allowed to play with the ‘live toys’ over the other side of the store. It doesn’t matter though, there is plenty of fun stuff left; like helping mum choose what yummies to get.

Millie sniff

And the best bit ever are the people here! They have great taste in dogs, they pay me lots of compliments and get down to play with me. It’s such a great place to be. HA look at my tail!

Millie greets

I met more than just this lady too, there are so many people in there to play with. There was even two little girls and their mum, they were very polite and asked my mum if it was OK to stroke me, but I was already begging them to. OF COURSE YOU CAN STROKE ME! The girls were very lovely and they told me how beautiful I was, of course. They liked my wiggly tail, well, they should have seen it when that last photo was taken! I am much more restrained around smaller people, they just seem a lot more fragile to me.

Millie happy

Next it was time to go home, but there had been a lot to smile about today. I wonder why they can’t have school here in the shop?

Thanks for reading about my really big day,

Woofs, Millie xXx

P.S. There is no school next week because the The Lady That Talks a Lot is going to Crufts and she needs to rest on the Monday. Yet ANOTHER reason to smile today.

Millie’s Obedience School Diary: Week Five

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Well, this week I was kind of getting used to the drill. So when mum opened the car door, I jumped right on in. The nights are definitely getting lighter now too, which makes me happier to be there. I was talking away to mum and at first she seemed concerned, until I made it clear to her that I was chatting! NOT crying. Honestly, you have to show these people everything.

ON STRIKE
I didn’t even try to back away when mum led us into the classroom door this time. We were the second team there so it was nice and quiet…ahh! Only, then Alice turned up and she tried to say hello. Then Ella turned up too and it all went downhill from there. Mum wouldn’t let me hide again, but I was happy she let me sit on the chair next to her. However, as soon as I was settled the Lady That Talks A Lot shouted out “come on then, let’s get you on the move” and I had to get down and walk round and round again. BUT, I refused, nope, didn’t want to, not having it, not today thank you. I dawdled behind mum on the lead for a few steps and then laid on the floor while she dragged me. The other mums and dads thought this was really funny and they said I looked like a mop. But I wasn’t having fun, quite fed up of the whole thing frankly. And this week it went on for AGES!

Millie Worried

MOODY LITTLE ME
That picture pretty much sums up my thoughts on today’s class.
Next we were trying out ‘food refusal’ that’s where mum tells us to ‘leave it’ and we aren’t allowed to take it till she tells us to. I can do this at home, though it’s really hard. At school though, it is not hard at all. I think I may have mentioned before that I DO NOT WANT THE FOOD in class. Just to make this extra clear, I didn’t even bother looking in the direction of it today. So when it was time to play some games that included throwing food for us to catch, mum and I just had to carry on watching all the other dogs.

STAY
The last thing we did today was STAY, mum thought I was really going to struggle with this, because I do not like to leave her side at all. The Lady That Talks A Lot told mum that I might prefer sit on the chair for this one. Mum put me on the chair, and she still had hold of my lead but was moving away from me, and then coming back again. Every time she came back she told me I was a good girl.

Millie on chair

In the end, she even managed to get across the whole room and sit on the chairs opposite me before she came back. She even let go of my lead! I got lots and lots of praise for this. Ella’s mum told my mum that we were ‘just showing off now’ and they both laughed. Mum said I wouldn’t be doing it if I were on the floor. So we tried that, and mum was right. I was far too near to the dogs to think THAT was any fun! We tried a few more times with me sat on the chair, because mum said it would be good to ‘finish on a high note’.
I suppose the chairs do make me taller than some of the other dogs, do you think that’s what she meant?

Woofs, Millie x

Millie’s Obedience School Diaries: Week Four

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I cried a lot in the car today. The good news is mum finally seemed to figure out why. If she talks to me, or preferably, strokes me then I am OK. She explained that she can’t always stroke me though, because she has to ‘drive’. I think the car is very selfish, needing both of her hands. Anyway, we got there in the end and mum walked me around outside for a bit. I knew what we were there for before we went into the building this time. The big German Shepard called Ella was also being walked around by her mum, and I would know THAT bark anywhere.

THE GREAT ESCAPE
I tried to make the escape from the door when we reached the classroom, but mum was having none of it. So, we sat down and I tried to get under the seat again but mum was having none of that either! She said I had to try and not hide so much this week. No chance of that anyway because as soon as everybody arrived we were practicing the walking to heel thing.
Ella, the big German Shepard and Alice, the big Whippet-Cross dog don’t seem to like each other very much. So when we were walking, they pulled on their leads to shout at each other. I was really scared because we were in the middle! I darted under mums feet AND SHE STOOD ON MY PAW! I said OUCH really loud and when mum bent down to pet me, I could see she felt really bad. We were really near the door, so I used this opportunity to try and steer us out of it. Turns out mum didn’t feel quite bad enough for that to work, though 😦

THIS LITTLE PIGGY WENT…
Next, we did some more recall training, and everybody laughed at me because mum didn’t even have to say ‘come’ or hold out any cheese. Every step she took back I was already following! Alice’s dad dropped her lead when it was her turn and Alice decided she would go and say a closer ‘hello’ to Ella. It caused a bit of panic, but I don’t think they were fighting! It was scary though because the Lady That Talks a Lot sprayed that can at them to stop them barking. It didn’t work like always, but it did make me do a little wee on the floor!

millie training week 4

A GOOD SPOT FOR A LIE DOWN
The Lady That Talks a Lot said that we might benefit from some ‘socialisation’ exercises. This involved us all standing in a line, equal distances apart and then our mums and dads weaving us around and through each other. Mum was very nervous about how close the others might get, because she knows I like to stay well away. But it was to teach us that it’s OK for another dog to walk by us.
The first dog was Ella and she didn’t really pay me any attention. She sniffed me, and that was it. I found this all incredibly boring and just laid by mums feet, I didn’t even bother to look at them in the end. When it was our turn to do the weaving, they all looked at me, of course, but it was OK and they didn’t try to get up. The lady That Talks a Lot told my mum that they were checking if I was a dog or not, because most of them probably hadn’t seen one with hair like mine and it makes my shape different. She meant beautiful, I think, but she couldn’t say that in front of the others. There is only one boy in our class and the other girls were bound to get jealous.

THE WIND DOWN
For the last part of the lesson, we just sat quiet and all of the humans talked. That bit was OK, mum kept offering me cheese and saying I had been a ‘good girl’ but I’m still not interested in eating here. Yes, even if it is cheese! I looked for it when we got back to the car, but mum said she wouldn’t give it to me. I had to know it was a treat for doing well in the class. That was OK though, I had a little nap and by the time I woke up we were home. Thank dog that’s over for another week!

Woofs, Millie x