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Published August 28, 2008 More Info »
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Published August 28, 2008

About six months ago I got a puppy.

This is not the first time in my life I have welcomed this insanity into my home.

The concept of a dog baffles me.

Pet free, I was happy. My home was spotless. There was rarely urine or feces anywhere. No one barked, ever, and I never found it necessary to stick my face in the garbage and scatter it around the kitchen.

Enter puppy.

You get the picture.

The problem I have now is that we are having a little girl in October. I cannot have a spawn of Satan rampaging around barking, biting, shitting, peeing and attacking everything in sight (although I must admit his reckless behavior is quite endearing at times).

Obviously, I need to train the dog.

The problem lies in my concept of dog training. Pavlov would have a field day with me. My basic technique is to alternate positive and negative reinforcement in a random pattern, which coincides very little with the dogs actual behavior. This is not done purposely, as that would take actual energy and thought, but rather an observation in hindsight. The results have been the same with every dog I have ever owned: an affectionate, wild beast that devotes a large portion of it's time to shaking uncontrolably in a corner, waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop.

I do not wish for my children to witness the pathetic results of my efforts, so last week I made an appointment  with a professional dog trainer. Basically this is how it went down:

She came to my apartment. I gave her a check for $550.00. She handed me a radio collar and told me that I am the problem. Per our contract, this woman will be coming to my apartment twice a week to tell me that I am a problem until we reach a point where I either kill her or the dog decides to stop eating its own excrement.

I'd almost prefer a furball of convulsions. Even if I am the problem I'd still have my five fifty.

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