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Married . WithOUT Children

“I have two words for you,” husband-head announced firmly. “Obedience. School.”

I rolled my eyes and shook my head.

“Don’t bother,” I informed him. “My parents tried it on me, too, and it didn’t work. .”



“Not YOU,” husband-head sighed. “THEM. .”

Husband-head pointed at our two large yellow Labs – our beloved “children.”



But he was right.

Weber, our number one son, and Wyatt, our adopted child, were in dire need of . shall we say . a little training.

Not that they’re bad dogs, but they have developed several little bad habits. .

First of all, if you plan to enter our home, you’d better weigh – at the minimum – 250 pounds. This is because once through the front door, both dogs will become completely overjoyed at your presence and in their excitement will proceed to jump on you, knock you down and lick you to death.

“Help!” Marianne cried feebly from the floor after walking into the house and being assaulted by the canine welcoming committee. “Help me!”

I assisted my 95-pound best friend to her feet and tried to wipe the slobber off of her.

“I’m really sorry,” I apologized. “They’re only supposed to do that to meter readers, unsolicited sales people, burglars or anyone attempting to serve court documents.”

“Have you ever thought of obedience school?” Marianne asked, brushing the dog drool off her clothing. “It might help, you know. .”

OK, so they don’t come when they’re called, they run away if they’re not on a leash, they bark at anything that walks by, they get into the garbage and they believe the couch and the bed belong to them.

“Can you imagine if we had children?” I asked husband-head, as we watched our pets playing a rowdy game of “let’s bite each other’s faces off” all over the living room.

Husband-head nodded in agreement.

“I know, we’d be horrible parents,” he acknowledged. “We have no control over them.”

That was it. I picked up the phone to call a dog trainer whose name I had gotten at the suggestion of my veterinarian.

“I think we need some obedience training,” I confessed to the trainer. “My dogs are a little . ummm . unruly.”

The nice training lady assured me that she could help.

“Do they bat at you with their paw when they want something?” she asked, trying to assess the situation.

Yes – all day long.

“Do they sleep in the bed with you?” she continued.

Yes – but we’ve taken to sleeping standing up because there’s no room on the bed.

“Do they come when you call them?”

No – they run and hide under the dining room table.

“Do they pretty much rule your household?”

YES!

And while I knew obedience school was the right thing to do, I was a little leery of how my pets would react in a room full of other dogs.

“I want you to know that my dogs are going to pee all over the floor,” I warned her. “Then, they’ll bark at the other dogs and they won’t sit still or listen to anything we say.”

It occurred to me that perhaps we needed a pet psychiatrist as well.

“I think they have issues,” I admitted to the dog trainer.

She laughed and reassured me that we could work with them.

“Well, the boys are going to boot camp soon,” I informed husband-head.

He smiled with relief.

“Good. Now . what are we going to do about you?”

New Castle resident Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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