I are a dog-training idjit. You?

Stupid owner = stupid dog. I have the scars to prove it.

I think I was four when the neighbor’s collie dog put its crocodile-like mouth completely around my little body and chomped.

I’d gotten a cowboy outfit for Christmas, including red boots and a rope. I wanted Duchess to walk around like a cow so I could rope her. As you do. But when Duchess wouldn’t play cow, I decided to use the rope to repeatedly whack her back. Hence the chomp.

Years later Blondie the cocker spaniel didn’t chomp me but should’ve. I decided to train her to kill any armed intruder. So I got my Fanner 50 toy revolver and whacked her on the snout, repeatedly, while shouting “guns are bad, Blondie, bad!”

Fast forward a few years. Steve and I are walking to his house, and along the way I bend down to pet Rowdy, a mutt, who is all hunched over like. Protecting something. So when I start to pet him, he chews up and down on my forearm. Like a corn cob.

Decades pass. And I buy my Chinese wife a wee little Chinese dog. What a great husband, right? I drive to a far away city. To a super clean apartment. Where a starchily clean woman, with big hair and red nails, has umpteen Shih-Tzus in a cage. So cute! I happily pay the woman $500. Puppy! Puppy! Puppy! And I spend $2,000 keeping Ling Ling alive for two years, through countless epileptic seizures, bad eyes, bad hips, and totally bad genetics. Can you say “Puppy mill”? Dammit.

Ten years later we are in New Zealand and finally have a big yard. Yay! Time to get a big dog! Yay! Like that free German shepherd at the pound. But since he’s gone already, we’ll take this free half German Shepherd-half Huntaway. What could go wrong?

Clue one. Within about a week, said dog’s face becomes way long and coal black. His legs become stilts. And Buddy becomes the Moosedawg, because he so looks like a baby moose.

Clue two. Wife forgets new leather-bound missal on the front porch when we go to Mass. Upon return, Moosedawg has eaten said missal. Wife now calls him the “devil dog,” an identity he embraces. For the next decade, he only stops barking when he decides to runaway, roll in other dogs’ poop, or dig up the wife’s precious garden.

Clues 3-7.

o Professional Trainer? Check.

o Shock collar No. 1? Check.

o More powerful shock collar? Check.

o 10,000-volt shock collar?. Check.

o $1500 stockade fence? Check.

End of barking and walkabouts? Duh.

And my point?

When Buddy the Moosedawg, 11, goes to the big sheep farm in the sky, with or without the assistance of said wife, I *SWEAR I am going to:

1) Listen to experts
2) Buy the right breed
3) Socialize the dog
4) Train me and train him

And make use of resources like this:

Because on my bucket list? Is item 27) Have a great dog!

Which means I can’t train him by hitting him with a rope or Fanner 50, or screaming or using shock collars, especially after buying the wrong breed and not socializing him with other big dogs, and bite-size doglettes.

So, if YOU want a great dog? Maybe consider Dove Cresswell’s teaching methods. For some unexplained reasons, they seem to work better than mine. Go figger.

And yes, if you buy, I get a commission. And if you don’t buy, and you want a large, LOUD, Moosedawg, post-paid, just drop my wife a line.

She will have him boxed and posted before I can scream:


Remember to go here for free Hog Tweets at HogsAteMySister.


* Since this was written, the Moosedawg, now 13, has gone deaf and half-blind, but is STILL barking, and I invested heavily in a “used” Crack Puppy.

No, I never learn…

But Sooooo Cuuuute!


6 Responses to “I are a dog-training idjit. You?”

  1. Steve D says:

    We were lucky. We had a mostly Pom for almost 16 years. Best. Dog. Ever. But couldn’t jump. You’ve heard “White Men Can’t Jump?” This was “Little black dogs can’t jump.” But he was happy and he made people happy. I still miss him, but not enough to take on Moosedawg.

    • hams says:

      No, really, Buddy is exactly like your Pom. And once I remove his legs for posting, he’ll be exactly the same size as your Pom and won’t jump up at all. And despite having no legs, he will still be totally happy and smiley and gentle, just with a BIG MOUTH.

  2. malm says:

    I suggest you try horses after Buddy’s passing. I can likely hook you up. I’m sure NZ is short on these wonderful creatures.


    • hams says:

      Many thanks for your consideration. I have decided, instead of dogs or even horses, I shall cultivate my Hemorrhoid to the size and intelligence of a small pony. And I shall name it Flicka.

  3. Sonny Boy says:

    C’MON, he gives great hugs, hangs out with you when you’re outside, gets your hacky-sack if you lose it in the bush and greets you when you come home – what more could you want?!

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