Four of Mason’s "man’s best friends" and their dedicated owners graduated from Basic obedience class on Saturday, August 21st. Pam Scott and "Lois," (Parson Russell Terrier), Shayne Smith and "Reba" (German Shepherd Dog), Judy Uherek and "George," (Shar-Pei) and Jocelynn Hemphill and "Diva" (German Shepherd Dog) thrilled and amazed onlookers as they completed a challenging graduation test with flying colors. (Also graduating, but not present, were the Burleson family, who put in a team effort with their Border Collie, "Buster").
If you had told any of the people who attended the first class that their barking, jumping up, pulling, unfocused four-legged companions would lie peacefully side-by-side for over a minute OFF-LEASH while their owners stood 20 feet away, the collective eye-rolling and chorus of "Yeah, right!" could have been heard in Menard. However, it happened, and we have pictures to prove it!
Led by instructor Lenore Newsom, of Reigning Cats & Dogs, the students taught their dogs to walk on a loose leash, without the dog choking himself or dragging them down the street, to sit, lie down, hold still to be petted, make eye contact, and the ever-elusive "come when called." After eight weeks of faithful practicing (and some admitted last-minute cramming by one student who will go nameless - hint - initials J.U.), everyone of the former miscreants (the dogs, not the people) rose to the occasion and made their owners (and their teacher) proud. As one student said, "if you videotaped the first class and the graduation and showed it to people, they’d sign up in droves!" As with anything else, if you put the time in, you get results. Not only did the students learn how to train their dogs, the owner-dog bond was deepened, as each student learned to appreciate their dog’s intelligence and deep desire to please. And as their instructor, I give ALL the dogs and trainers two big thumbs up! You were all a pleasure to teach!
Reigning Cats & Dogs will begin their next obedience class on Saturday, Sept. 11th. Classes meet for one hour from 8:30-9:30 AM, and 10-15 minutes of daily practice. Classes are limited in size, so call 347-1700 or come by the store at 120 Moody St. (next to the Odeon Theater) to sign up. Cost is $99.00 and all participants can attend any subsequent classes after the first series for free. Before you say, "my dog could NEVER do that," talk to our graduates - you just might be surprised. Dogs must be 5 months of age, and the oldest dog I ever taught was 11 years old!
The time you spend in an eight-week obedience class is one percent of your dog’s life, but it will make the other 99% so much more enjoyable. So don’t put up with barking, chewing, digging, pulling, running away or getting dragged down the street any longer - as we say in the obedience world - don’t complain, train! Let your dog become the next "zero to hero" in eight easy lessons.