I’m puppysitting again; this time it’s a five-month old black Lab named Janna. The family who’s raising her is very busy right now, so I’ve been asked to take her for a week or so, just to give her some new experiences and some intensive basic training. She’s very cute. She’s very smart. She’s VERY stubborn…and hasn’t yet been taught that she isn’t the boss.
Two words: Labrador Rodeo.
There are moments when I literally have to grab her legs and pull them out from under her in order to get her on her back for grooming (it’s not as damaging as it may sound, there’s an actual technique to it). Then there’s the Greco-Roman wrestling. I get her on the floor, quickly muscle her on to her side, grasp one of her forelegs for leverage, pin her across the neck/shoulder with my forearm and clamp my other hand firmly on her hip…and hold her there until her breathing slows and she’s relaxed enough not to bolt as soon as I let go and give her the “okay” release command. Meanwhile, she lolls her tongue around and grunts and wiggles and snorts and gives me the crazy-eye. It takes a good thirty minutes, and provides a surprisingly good workout for both of us.
Ultimately, after last night’s match, I won. But she got me back later…just as I was drifting off to sleep, satisfied that Janna was dreaming happily in her kennel next to my bed, she let out a toxic cloud that could have gagged a stone statue.
Is this what it’s like to have children?