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Spanish Eyes, English Words

A blended blog - Spanish life and culture meets English freelancer who often gets mistaken for Spanish senora. It's the eyes that do it, rather than the command of the language. Anything can and probably will happen here.

Educating Paddy - the embarrassment continues!
03 October 2014 @ 08:15

I thought my regular readers might be interested in the progress in Educating Paddy, so here's an update. I'm lucky I'm not writing this from a hospital bed, dear reader, because, as on the two previous training sessions, as soon as Paddy eyeballed his new canine pals, he was like the rubber ball in the old Bobby Vee song - bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy. We survived the initial encounter though, and I was relieved to sit down, admitted to the magic circle of dogs and owners because Paddy is now deemed to be a Good Dog, and therefore welcome in polite society.

The relief was not to last long though - it rarely does where Paddy is concerned. A German Shepherd with an attitude problem was a latecomer to the group, and while his owner saw the training sessions as a way to calm her dog, the dog himself saw fight opportunities there for the taking. And his first chosen victim was Paddy. Now, Paddy loves all God's creatures - even when he catches a fly, he tries not to kill it. But there's only so much a pup can take, and when the owner removed the dog from the fight scene, Paddy took off after them to get his two penn'orth in.

Luckily I was holding onto the lead. Unluckily Paddy was like a pup possessed with superhuman - or rather supercanine - powers. He went off like a rocket, and so did I, still attached to the chair. It was like something out of a wild west movie - there's always an old cowpoke who gets knocked off his chair, then has it smashed over his head as the fight starts. Okay, I'll admit I've sometimes pictured myself in a wild west movie. However, I see myself more as the sassy lady in the low cut dress and garter - not the old cowpoke who's the first to hit the deck when the fun starts.

As it happened, only my pride was hurt, although the chair will not be welcoming any more dog owner backsides. For the chair, it was terminal, but in giving up its life, it saved mine, so I hope it's now happy in Chair Heaven, where presumably there are no puppies with hooligan tendencies bent on destruction. I'm not a religious person, but I am spiritual, and I very often count my blessings, rather than just taking life for granted. On Wednesday, the main blessing to count was the fact that, instead of wearing my usual skirt, I was in capri pants. This was a real 'legs in the air' job, and I would have hated to have inflicted the sight of my comfy but decidedly unsexy Bridget Jones knickers on those unsuspecting dog owners.

As usual, Paddy redeemed himself when the training started. He's an intelligent boy, and he loves learning new things. On Wednesday, we were practicing getting the dogs to walk by our sides, so that we were taking them for a walk, rather than vice versa. After a shaky start, when I almost became too well acquainted with the canal where Paddy was abandoned, my boy did a splendid job. I know that, because Alex uttered the words that every owner wants to hear - 'Sandra, go and pet your dog.' That meant the boy had done good, because Alex always stresses that we should reward success with affection - and maybe a treat. It's all about positive reinforcement.

Then it was time for the mid session break - and more embarrasment for me. Alex uses break time to introduce new dogs - or nervous dogs - to the other dogs and owners in a calm environment, when we're all sitting down. He holds the lead firmly, so if the dog isn't friendly, he's soon whisked away. This week's candidate was a large boxer, and there were no dramas, as he was a very friendly dog. Too friendly as it turned out, because after saying hello to Paddy in traditional doggy fashion, he decided to do the same to me. He buried his head in my crotch, and it took Alex and the dog's owner - a Spanish guy who was even more embarrassed than me - to get him away. You know you're getting old when the only males that find you irresistible have four legs and a tail!

Last night, when I took Paddy for his first walk after training, he headed off at full pelt, but I just gave his lead a firm tug, and he was back at  my side. And there he stayed for the duration of the walk - apart from rabbit chasing time in the orange groves. So it was worth all the embarrassment to manage a whole walk without getting my arm yanked out of the shoulder socket. Alex - you are truly amazing!

Like 0


simonharris said:
03 October 2014 @ 09:23

Love it! He sounds like a handful!

oliander said:
04 October 2014 @ 08:48

Love this doggy tale !!!! From a Exeter girl who also lives in Benimar part time !!

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