11/15/13 My Arrival at Bootcamp

(October, 2013)  After a particularly satisfying day of flashmobbing, sleeping on the human bed, begging for table scraps, and knocking over furniture, Mom and Jamie loaded me up in Zeus and off we went!  I was happy to be going for a ride.  I liked the little car.

The night air was thick with mist and soon we were driving through a pounding rainstorm.  Mom clutched the wheel and swore quietly under her breath.  Jamie looked like he might be sick at any moment. But I didn’t care!  We were out, and that was all that mattered.

Soon, Mom made the left turn at the brightly-lit gas station with the seashell on the sign, and within seconds, we pulled up to the Obedience College.  Inwardly I sighed.  While I was comfortable enough with going to the school, I couldn’t help thinking, “Not this again!”

But when we got inside, something was different.  I didn’t go right into the arena with the other dogs.  Mom talked to a Lady that looked like she was in charge at the counter, and made me “stay” while she filled out papers.  Then, the Alpha Lady came from around the counter towards me.  Jamie and Mom patted my head, and the Lady took the lead from Mom’s hand and trotted me toward the other dogs.

“This will work out O.K.,” I thought.  “I can do my commands with someone else, then go home.”  We got to the far end of the arena, past all the other dogs, which I thought was kind of strange, and I turned my head.  I couldn’t see Mom or Jamie anywhere.  I turned my body partly around and they were gone.  “Leave it!”  Commanded the Alpha Lady, giving my lead a tug.  Life was about to get a whole lot different, doggy-style.

The tall Alpha Lady put me in a cold kennel near some barking dogs and Doberman puppies.  I didn’t bark or yelp along – just decided to wait it out and see what would happen next.  I expected Mom to come back any minute, but she did not return.  Nervously, I chewed the bars on the door of my kennel while my anxiety built.  People moved back and forth in front of my crate, but none of them were my people.  My heart sank like a stone and I got a chill up my back and a sick feeling in my stomach:  They had given me away.  I was a bad dog, and they had given me away.  I felt the urge to howl, and poop, but I didn’t do either one.  I just curled up to await my fate.  What was it going to be:  back to the shelter, or to a new owner?  Was I doomed to stay locked up at school forever?

After what seemed like a very, very, long time, the last training class ended and the lights started going out.  The only ones left were the puppies and kennel dogs.  And me.  What was going on?  Suddenly, my cage door opened and the Alpha female stood before me.  I thumped my tail at her, hoping for mercy, or better yet, to be taken home.  Joke’s over, right?

The tall woman stooped down, snapped a leather lead on my collar, and we rushed out into the rain and then hopped into a truck.  We drove and drove and drove.  We went on the expressway.  I knew it was not the direction of home.  Nervously, I looked out the window and tried to lick my dry nose.  I was terrified.  I wished now I’d pooped back at the kennel.

The Alpha Lady pulled the truck up to a very big house.  She tugged me gently, coaxing me out of the back seat.  She rang the doorbell of the house, and then handed my lead over to a Man whom I immediately sensed was the Alpha-Alpha.  After speaking in a few low words that I couldn’t make out, the Lady left.

The Alpha Male gave me a sit/stay command, which I obeyed.  He then walked me into a crate.  It had my blanket from home in it.  I could hear and smell other dogs – many dogs – in the house.  I was given a biscuit and told to “go to bed”.  The crate door banged shut, the lights went out, and I gave a few frantic, despair-riddled barks.  Then I lay on my belly, eyes wide open, heart breaking.

It was my welcome to a whole new world.  And I didn’t like it one bit.

Love, Maggie

 

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