“Where’s the Party?” – Bollo’s Back in Training

I had hoped that by now my loveable rogue of a hound would employ the genteel, calmness of labs you occasionally see diligently helping their handlers across the road. Or, at the very least, walk respectfully to heel (preferably in the same direction as me) like my late german shepherd. Not Bollo.

At 2½ he is still the excitable, effervescent ‘fun time Bollo’ he was at 2½ months, although now he’s 37 kilos of solid muscle to match. Coupled with unbounded enthusiasm, Bollo aims to turn every walk into the celebration of a lifetime.

I explained all this to the trainer over the phone beforehand. “So, what help do you feel you need?” she asked. Errr – walking nicely on a lead and not having my arm yanked out of its socket would be a start. I was politely informed that labs were an excitable breed and the year between 2 and 3 is the most challenging age. Great. The trainer said, “You’re managing the equivalent of a 16 year old adolescent boy.” Oh, that’s why whenever his lead appears he dances around the kitchen as if he’s gearing up for a night on the town.

She also said I should take a treat to class that he doesn’t normally have, recommending sausages. Well, although I don’t eat them myself, my guys only have ‘taste the difference’ sausages. ‘Posh sausages’ my daughter calls them. So, I cooked, chopped and bagged some posh sausages to help us on our way.

A road traffic accident en route delayed us and it was about 10 minutes past 7 by the time we arrived at the venue. Being late doesn’t usually bother me but as it was my first time, I did feel a little sheepish. Bollo, on the other hand, leapt around the car park like a pony and burst through the door almost lifting me off my feet as if to say, “Where’s the party?”

I stood smiling awkwardly feeling the heat creep up my neck as the room hushed. The trainer promptly spent the next 10 minutes explaining to the rest of the class that this was exactly how not to enter a room with your dog and everything I did wrong. Yes, me, Bollo is the pinnacle of manners, after all. During this conversation, himself became bored, flopped down and had a nap. That’s right, light the fire…

So, my cheeks were tomato red by the time the trainer strutted over for our assessment, whereby Bollo immediately awoke ~actually, I think he had half an eye half open the whole time~, jumped up and slurped a huge pink tongue across her cheek. As her face clouded, I began to realise why we gave up the last class.

She decided that we needed one to one training this week and, leaving her colleague to take the class of dog owners who were now smiling at me smugly as they stroked the heads of their perfectly behaved beasts, proceeded to teach me the right way to enter a room , hold the lead etc. Like I hadn’t done it all before. At the end of an hour she said, “You’ve made good progress this week.”  I stared down at my hand as Bollo over zealously grabbed another chunk of sausage, convinced I’d lost at least 3 finger tips. “You can join the class next week.”

That was the moment. The moment when I should have said, “Damn, is it always on a Tuesday? Sorry, I can’t do Tuesdays,” OR “Oh, I’m on holiday next week,” OR “Shucks, I have a hospital appointment…”, but I said neither and signed up for a 6 week course. She actually smiled as she took my cheque.

As soon as we arrived home, Bollo retreated to his bed with a bulging belly and a look of sheer satisfaction on his face. I poured myself a huge glass of Rose and relayed the evening’s event to shrieks of laughter from my hubby and regular comments of, “He’s always good for me.” Not helpful. I glanced across at Bollo with his angelic sleepy paw swung over his face and sighed. “Anyway, I signed up for the course.” When his laughter eventually abated hubby simply said, “I’m sure it’ll be good for both of you.” Hmmm… Time will tell.

12 thoughts on ““Where’s the Party?” – Bollo’s Back in Training

  1. Hilarious, Jane. I read this to Zippy and Kipling and an obedience class took the spirit right out of them. They are making picket signs and promise Bollo to show up the next time he’s brought to that sausage trap (they liked that part very much though).

  2. Oh Jane I feel bad for you, the trainer had no right to embarass you like that in front of everyone. Bollo sounds like a fun dog, full of life and energy, but I can understand you wanting him to walk properly on a lead. Good luck and next time take a baggie full of treats for yourself. One for Bollo, one for you!

    • Hey Tammy! Don’t feel sorry for me, LOL. Was quite funny with hindsight, although I think I’ll take up your suggestion and make sure I have some treats for me there too – chocolate sounds like the perfect antidote:)

  3. Hah! I thought I’d had the genius idea of all genius ideas when I came under pressure from the kids and OH to have a dog. I plumped for a 10yo from the Labrador Rescue Trust.

    Buster is everything I hoped he’d be. He’s gentle with the children. I’ve seen my hefty 6yo fall on his head. The poor dog just shook himself sadly and lumbered off.

    He’s also impeccably house-trained. No mess. Ever.

    I win, right? Wrong.

    First, he’s aggressive to (most) other dogs, causing me huge embarrassment on walks and him some injuries. He’s that terrible combo – an alpha male with no teeth.

    Second, he gets bored at night. We have tried to train him not to come upstairs but, some nights, including last night, he ignores all that and comes up barking and wagging his tail at ooh, 2 or 3 in the morning, waking me, my OH, my daughter.

    When we won’t play, he’ll then go and try the boys. This leads to staircases loaded with boxes and other obstacles which will one day doubtless be the death of me …

    There’s no easy way to have a dog. Good to know I’m not alone, Jane.

    Cathy xxx

    • Hi Cathy,
      Oh my! It seems we all face different challenges with our hairy hounds. (I have to say – the alpha male with no teeth did make me giggle.) I suppose I should be grateful I get a nights sleep, even though he yanks my arm out of the socket as we walk down the road;)
      Btw – I have a 3 legged cat who sits at the top of the stairs and meows his heart out at 5 o’clock in the morning – thought this might make you feel a bit better.

  4. He’s absolutely gorgeous! I do feel your pain though. I have a now older Springer Spaniel, who is off like a shot and selectively deaf on walks, should she see something of interest.

    It amuses me how people at these dog training classes look at people like yourself who turn up with dogs who need training, rather oddly. After all, isn’t that the whole purpose of the class? The dog handler would be out of work if it wasn’t for dogs like Rollo, who, I have to say again, is rather gorgeous 🙂

    • Aww, TY Rebecca. We think so too. Problem is he knows it. I think the others at the class were just grateful it wasn’t their hound in the spotlight, LOL. Thanks for your lovely comment:)

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