This was Bisou's first day at puppy kindergarten. We drove down roads bordered by foliage so gorgeous that five years ago I'd have had to stop the car and look. But not this time. I had a puppy to get to class.
There are five dogs in the class: two of Bisou's littermates, an almost full-size Golden Retriever, and a wiggly, vocal German Shepherd about seven times the size of Bisou.
The teacher, whose classes I had attended for almost two years with Wolfie, reminded us of basic principles that I found, to my surprise, I had entirely forgotten.
We did some “look at me and you'll get a treat” exercises, and then we let the puppies loose to interact with each other. There were gasps as the German Shepherd galumphed over to Bisou. But she, accustomed to dealing with 95 lbs of same, was happy to meet one of a more manageable size. She was equally glad to interact with the Golden, and the Golden's entourage of twin boys. She (literally) bowled over her brother, Bear, but didn't have much to do with her sister, Deja, who was feeling shy and hunkering between her owner's ankles.
We did some on-leash “with me” work, and I was chided over and over for looking at Bisou as we walked. But it's hard to keep your eyes off a dervish whirling about your ankles.
The lesson lasted an hour, and Bisou's ears were “up” and her tail was wagging the entire time.
I am accustomed, after a lesson, to have a puppy or even a grown dog conk out and nap for pretty much the rest of the day. But not Bisou! When we got home she was too charged up to eat lunch, and I had to throw many, many balls before she would settle down for a nap. Which I did myself, the minute she went down.
What am I going to do with this red little ball of fire? When I got Wolfie, I specifically said to the breeder that I wanted a CALM puppy--I didn't feel up to dealing with an intense 95lb dog. But with a Cavalier, I didn't think this would be an issue. Never gave it a thought. And now here she is, my little tornado.
I'll just have to find ways to drain her energy. Wolfie will help, once the two of them get coordinated so they can play together (that's coming along nicely). Bisou's mother is quite the agility star, and her father, who has his own website, is some kind of Mach IV agility champion. So I imagine we'll be doing agility soon.
In the meantime, I rejoice that she's small enough to get a workout inside the house, and calm enough to lie in my arms, all warm and velvety, just before she goes to sleep.