Bringing Home Jacques, Part II

When we returned from our trip, we were surprised to see a different side of Jacques. Gone was the mellow, sleepy little guy we adopted. He was replaced by a blur of white lightening… a little hellion. A cute hellion, but one nonetheless. Our living room was turned into a doggie NASCAR track as he would suddenly run round and round full speed with his head down and ears back. If he had wheels, I would swear he turned corners on two of them! He did this until he would suddenly stop and go about his business like nothing had happened. I thought this behavior was a result of him being boarded for a week… HA! As it turns out, that’s how he really is! The mellow guy routine he pulled for the first few days with us was just a ploy – and we bought it hook line and sinker!

Once we realized that we had been hoodwinked (which didn’t take long), we enrolled him in doggie obedience class. I was used to dealing with Shepherds who are very accommodating, very people pleasing dogs. Westies – HAHAHAHA! Yeah, no. I knew I needed the training more than he did. So we committed to making the 2-hour round trip journey every Saturday for the next 6 weeks. I knew we had our work cut out for us when upon seeing us coming to the first class the instructor said with a big smile, “Oh boy. A Westie.” My first thought was, “Crap.”

We’ll just fast forward through those 6 weeks and say that Jacques and I were asked to stay after class a number of times. We were the flunkies. Even the 2 giant Saint Bernards and the teacup poodle were progressing better and faster than us. (Remember, I’m used to the Shepherd mentality. This was REALLY hard for me.)

Jacques on Doggie Obedience Graduation Day! (It was nice that the instructor let us graduate...)

Jacques on Doggie Obedience Graduation Day! (It was nice that the instructor let us graduate…)

We might have been flunkies, but by the end of those 6 weeks my husband and I had a better understanding of Jacques and his needs. Jacques wasn’t completely ignoring us when we called him and he would even occasionally sit on command (when the mood struck him). I think it’s fair to say that Jacques learned a little about what was expected of him. He and Rocky were getting along. Rocky, who is geriatric by vet standards, would even participate in a few rounds of doggie NASCAR. (Thank goodness I have a decent size living room!!) At the end of those 6 weeks, Jacques was fully integrated into our family.

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