Monday, October 06, 2003

Another important date in FiFi's calendar: tonight, she graduated from puppy school. She was the class bully.

No, I am serious.

It all started innocently, mothers making off-handed comments about how "energetic" and "playful" she was. Translation: if she was a real child, she'd be chowing on Ritalin and sitting in the classroom's "special time-out place" because she "distracted" the other kids. Also, it didn't help matters that she was the second biggest pup in her class. The biggest, a German Shepherd pup named Rummy, dropped out after his owners couldn't feel secure taking him off his leash during socialization time amist a sea of toy tots: a papillion, two dachaunds, and some little nerd dog named Ezra, who is approximately the size of Squeaky Hippo. I think they were pressured out of class.

I should have known something was up when one of the moms used the word "attacked" when FiFi played with her dog. FiFi's play involves a lot of running and tumbling- most of the time she plays with me...and we happen to play a game called "Help! I'm being attacked by a fer-o-ci-ous beast," where she runs up to me, nips and gnaws at my arm while I flail around rather dramatically shrieking and usually laughing.

So anyway, Ezra apparently suffers from a bit of wee man's syndrome. He would rear up on his hind legs and bark at Fee. Not my problem that he had to stand in front of her so he couldn't see her and he could do his tricks. Later on, his rather overprotective mommy would swat at Fee as she tumbled with him. Sure, she was making low gutteral noises, but only because she was still pissed that she had to stay on a leash while the other dogs were able to socialize freely.

The instructor recommended dog day camp to allieviate her socialization issues, then handed us FiFi's diploma.

ON the way home, I called the real expert with my concerns.

"That is ridiculous. FiFi walks on a leash perfectly, and she's always well-behaved," my mom says through the cell connection. Somehow, I feel she's just not being an overly permissive grandmother.

I relate the story to Big over our gordita dinner. "Want me to kick their asses, Fee?" he asks her as she puts her front paws on his knees, hoping to catch a bit of dropped gordita from his plate.

Great. Now I know where she gets it from. "She's a good dog, right?" I ask him.

"Are you kidding? She's great. I can't believe those idiots. They ran out Rummy with that bullsh&t. Don't listen to that. Ezra's a neutered Mama's Boy! You should be proud. Your girl's a bad ass. She can stand up for herself."

But in all seriousness, Fee really did do well in school tonight. She's come a long way from the first night, where she was kind of all over the place. She doesn't bite, she doesn't bark or yap (she never really did to begin with), and she doesn't tear up stuff around the house. She's been spayed, she's smart, and now, it just proves she's a bad-ass Courtney Love dog to boot. And I think that's cool.

"Fee," I tell her as we play a special round of "Help, I'm being attacked by a feriocious beast" to help her and I forget about the evening that was supposed to be so blissful, "you're special. You're unique. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Everyone who is important in our lives adores you."

I think she'd be better off being home schooled- for sake of both of our self esteems.

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