Sunday, January 17, 2010

it's a dog eat dog treat kind of world

is that a treat?

The world has gone to the dogs. I'm not talking financial crisis or unemployment or telling bankers to avoid congregating in groups of more than 12 people. I'm talking four legged, butt licking, drool slinging, frisbee chasing canines. Two close friends have gotten a dog in the last month. There was a Sunday profile of an animal planet dog trainer in the NY times today. Charrow* and I swoon at the sight of a dog, even the drop-kick variety (a term Charrow has dubbed for what I refer to as ankle-biting yappy dogs).

And last, but not least, I have enrolled in dog training school. I could blame it for my blog inactivity, but we all know that I don't actually require a good reason to go into hiding from my own words. Tomorrow is the start of week 3 at Anthony Jerone's School of Dog Training, located very, very far away from my apartment. 2 trains, a bus, and a 7 minute walk. Only for dogs would I ever bother with a commute this long. In fact, I was thinking about it the other day, and there's absolutely no way that I would drive for an hour and 40 minutes, one way, for a regular job (the return trip is 15 minutes shorter thanks to the fast, but pricey express bus). But sitting on a train with the rest of the Monday through Friday world, I can read (assuming I can stay awake) or geek out to NPR podcasts, and the commute is over before I know it. Just think how many self-help books I can get through in 8 weeks! Kidding. Well, sort of.

The first day of my commute, I was standing on a crowded B train reading Pamela Slim's Escape From Cubicle Nation when I noticed the person sitting next me was reading a business book called "Leading Change." I'm not sure the juxtaposition could have been more poetic (and amusing) because Slim's book** is a down to earth exploration of entrepreneurship (try typing that 5 times fast) and from what I could tell, my fellow train rider's book was rooted in big business management and change implementation strategery. If that isn't clear enough for you, this should help: the subtitle for Slim's book is "From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur."

Coma inducing logistics aside, I'm pretty excited about the training course. It's not the most engaging instructional style (think poorly produced videos from 1978-1989), but there is a ton of hands on work required for certification, and that is something you can't get from an online course, especially when you live in a co-op that doesn't allow dogs. I'll try not to regale you with too many dog stories, but I can't make any promises. I'm going to be operating on sluggish mode until this thing is over with so I may not have the faculty for much more than a rundown of how I taught a dog to heel after 27 tries.

*Blogger's spellcheck really doesn't like Charrow's name. The first suggestion for the correct word is chariot. Maybe I should start calling her that.

**Highly recommend to anyone, cubicle bound or fancy free.

*** Today's picture is of Dixie, the dog we used to walk in Atlanta. To see more of her cheekiness, visit her blog.


Cyndi said...

You'll be a great trainer! D says hi.

eje said...

Maybe you can tell us what "heel" is supposed to mean. We're using it as "come stand next to me and wait at the curb until I say it's ok to cross the street", but I'm pretty sure that's not what it's supposed to mean!