by Blanche Dubois
What a week! First, my server (feeder/door opener) insists on taking me to the hospital. The Mt. Airy Animal Hospital. I assume the health crisis was hers. God knows, she breathes hard when I take her out for a run. But, no, I am the one hoisted up onto a cold metal examination table and a stranger takes my temperature. Don’t ask where!
Then a lady doctor comes in, takes one look at me and asks her assistant for a MUZZLE. What is her problem? Anyone can see that I am not a Pit Bull. I am six and a half pounds of apricot fluff! It only gets worse. They poke me, stick needles in me and tell my “server” (she serves me food) that I have to come back in three weeks for a booster shot. We’ll see about that!
As if that weren’t humiliating enough, my server decides it’s time for me to go to Charm School and hires Kiaran Leary from Wissahickon Pet Minders to teach me some manners. If anyone needs training, it’s my server. She doesn’t respond to any of my commands. Instead, she tilts her head in that adorable way servers do when they are confused. There I am clearly asking for a cookie, and what do I get? Another damn walk.
The moment Leary walked in the door, I took control of the situation. True, I’m barely 12 inches in height, but I did my best. Meaning, my absolute worst. I gave him the old GRRRRRRRRRRR, bared my pearly whites and kept my eyes on the constantly moving target. His crotch. I succeeded in scaring my server silly. She was near tears. Leary just laughed!
He gave my server a sheet of instructions, all of which denied my basic Constitutional rights. The right to jump on guests. The right to get a belly rub on my schedule, not my server’s schedule. The right to eat half of her dinner. The moment he leaves, I’m calling the ACLU (American Canine Legal Union).
Leary told my server to put my harness and leash on me. I thought, “Thank God, I’m getting out of here.” But, no, we didn’t go out. Instead, Leary held onto my leash, totally ignoring my imitation of Darth Vader. Then, when I lost interest in biting his head off, he had the chutzpah to teach my server how to make me “sit.”
“You don’t want Blanche doing what you ask because she’ll get a treat,” said Leary. “You want her doing what you ask because you asked her to.”
Huh? I couldn’t believe my exceptionally soft, silky ears. I don’t do anything without reward. You want me to sit, roll over or play dead? Show me the goodie first, then we’ll talk. So when Leary told me to “sit” and pressed down on my hind quarters, I gave him the third act of “La Traviata.” This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve made a grown man cry, but this one just smiled as if I were an adorable idiot. Well, one of us is!
Here’s the thing. I already knew how to sit. I’m no puppy. I’m an adult, after all. But I learned long ago that if you give an inch, they take an entire doggie park. I did my best to ignore his command but eventually gave in.
“GOOD DOG!” he said.
Of course, I’m a good dog. Now enough of this. It’s time for the Ellen Show. I started walking toward the TV.
“SIT!” he said again.
Why can’t he make up his mind?
“If Blanche learns to sit on command you will not need to ever say ‘Stay’,” he told my server. “She will continue to sit until you signal her it’s OK to move again.”
“SIT!” she said.
When Hell freezes over.
“SIT!” she repeated and pressed down on my tail.
“That’s right. Keep going,” Leary coached her.
No, this isn’t right! This is as wrong as it gets. A stranger coming into my domain giving my server ideas that she is the leader of the pack. I finally parked my rear on the floor just to get this charade over.
“GOOD DOG!” They cried in unison.
My server ran to the kitchen and came back with a cookie and covered my face in kisses. I tell you, these people are untrainable!
Blanche’s “server,” Stacia Friedman, is a freelance columnist and novelist from Mt. Airy who also refuses to sit on command.