Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Good Night for Dogs in Puerto Rico

God bless the municipality of Manatee for sponsoring the first ever, if I heard right, really big dog training event in Puerto Rico. I had a blast.

Before the speeches began, as people assembled I meandered through the crowd saying hello to everybody. Siberian Huskies, a Great Dane, a Basenji, a Bulldog with a ton of personality were good to meet along with friendly people, who laughed goodheartedly at my Spanish. (It’s appropriate.) It seemed to me that there were quite a few young puppies. It’s not a good idea to teach adults and puppies in the same class for many reasons, so I suggested the division to Alma, who agreed. When I made that suggestion, I had counted twelve for the puppy class I would teach. No sweat, I thought even though I haven’t taught a class in five years. 

A crowd of more than sixty dogs and their people listened to opening speeches and introductions. We stood on the steps of a coliseum; the rules of the event were clearly stated by the ranking police officer. The organizing dog trainer, Alma Febus, announced where the puppies should gather. The training planned for outside had to suddenly, be moved inside do to rain that began no sooner than she announced the separation of classes, so Carlos Cardona, the officer in charge told us where the puppies would be meeting, a long narrow area where people wait to get inside the coliseum, but we were under a roof.
Have you ever looked at a situation and felt confident? Twelve puppies, a piece of chocolate! I entered the vestibule where the puppies awaited. Wall to wall people and pups greeted me. Holy! Holy!! “Just puppies, here,” I yelled in Spanish, “Solomente peritos, por favor!”
Nobody moved; this massive tangle just looked. Oh, my, what the!! I quickly grabbed a couple of cones, “People with puppies line up between the cones. People without dogs, please stand along the opposite wall.”    
As everybody shuffled into place, I counted puppy dogs. I stopped counting at forty puppies.  The place was crowded so I took a couple of cones further down and divided the class. 
Yes, forty in a class is overwhelming; who knew the pent up demand for dog training was so great?
Teniente Carlos Cardona and his staff should be congratulated for offering to the citizens of Manatee a program that they so obviously want.
Thanks to the efforts of my volunteer assistants: Joselito Moye, Officer Tanya Roman, Genesis Rodriguez, and a beautiful lady whose name I never got, but impressed me with her capability and calm demeanor. These people rock!!
Joselito is the bomb; he gave the class to a darn big group. Occasionally I’d run over to observe, and I have to tell you; the man did a fine job! He saved the day because I could not have done justice to forty in one group.

One of my goals in life is to improve our relationship with dogs. When I’m doing that, I’m having fun. After all these years, I’m still a dog lover.

No comments:

Post a Comment