Ten years ago, when I was pregnant with our first child, my husband and I hired a private dog trainer. Our puppy, Blue, was six months old and our veterinarian recommended someone who would work with her one on one.
We were too dumb to realize what he really meant, which was that Blue would never be accepted in a class. Not that she couldn’t play nice, but he was quite aware that we wouldn’t be able to get her to stop playing period. We probably should have got the hint when he prescribed her tranquilizers.
Labrador retrievers are, by nature, as hyper as Looney Tunes’ Road Runner. On speed. This puppy of ours bounced off the walls. She was particularly crazy in the evening when my husband and I got home from work. Which is, of course, when the $55.00 an hour trainer would swing by.
The first night the trainer was here, she explained that Blue wasn’t peppy because we had been gone all day, but because dogs naturally get a little wacky at twilight. Apparently wolves are most active at that time of day, and because our puppy was a distant relative, we could blame them. Stupid wolves. I wondered if I could also blame Blue’s family tree for the holes in all of our underwear and my ficus tree that was chewed to a stump.
Wolf or no wolf, the trainer lasted about a month before she quit. That’s how bad our dog was. Someone making $55.00 an hour, threw up her hands, walked out the door, and told us our dog was untrainable.
Blue is ten and she’s finally calming down. But now, there’s a new wolf in town.
Our six year old son is also affected by twilight. Every night after dinner, he becomes a little bit nutty. He jumps off the furniture and runs through the house laughing and screaming. He drives his sister crazy. He drives us crazy. He is an unstoppable goof. We call him Wolf-Boy.
So help me, if he starts chewing on our underwear I’m throwing up my hands and declaring him untrainable.