Mason County News
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The "Fantastic Four" Fight for Top Grade Obedience Class Honors
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 • Posted May 16, 2012

Reigning Cats & Dogs has graduated eight classes in the last two years. Each time there are usually a couple of stand-out trainers and dogs, some average pairs, and occasionally a dog/handler team that is a complete mismatch - dumb dog/smart handler, or vice versa.

However, the May 12th graduating class truly was the “Fantastic Four.” All four handlers and all four dogs excelled - as the trainer I felt, at times, like each one of them could be teaching an obedience class of their own. These owners trained hard, they trained often, and they trained with dedication, and the results were that all four teams graduated and scored within 4 points (out of 100) of each other - three of the four were within one point!

Darla Pape and “Pecos,” (Australian Shepherd), Marty Pape and “Duke,” (Border Collie), John Earl and “Sam” (Border Collie) and Debbie Geistweidt and “Bruno” (Boxer) were prompt, attentive, intelligent, well-behaved (the dogs, not the handlers!), and clean, neat and reverent (the handlers, not the dogs). I particularly want to mention John Earl’s dog “Sam,” who was found by the side of the road in Hilda, and the progress they made. Sam was a challenging combination of freaked-out and snappy when he arrived at his first class, and John barely spoke in an audible voice. They went from that to “drill sargeant” and “buck private” by the third week of class, and never looked back. By the fifth class, you would never know that John hadn’t had Sam his entire life - his tail was no longer perpetually tucked between his legs, he made eye contact, anyone could pet him without him cowering behind John, etc. What a transformation! Actually, if we were having a “most improved” contest, Bruno and Pecos could be serious contenders, too - Pecos’ mission, before class, was to never keep all four paws on the ground at the same time, and Bruno just wanted to lay on his back and wave his paws in the air! However, the handlers’ dedication prevailed, and everything fell into place for all four pairs.

In the sixth week of the eight-week class, all four dogs were able to sit six feet away from their owners WITHOUT MOVING THEIR FEET while the 2 trainers walked strange dogs around them. If you think that’s easy, I urge you to try it with your dog! Heck, I don’t think my dogs would do it all the time either! Anyway, all four dogs graduated with honors, enjoyed punch and cookies, and hopefully will be outstanding examples of good dog citizens for years to come.

Reigning Cats & Dogs is very proud of this class, and hopes to see them around Mason, now that their dogs can appear in public without embarrassing them!

If you’d like to have your dog praised in the Mason County News, or just come when he’s called or stop jumping on you, sign up for Reigning Cats & Dogs’ next class, which starts Saturday, June 9th. Classes are 8:30-9:30 AM on Saturdays (but we will not meet July 7th or 14th). Cost is $99 plus equipment, and make-up lessons and behavioral consultations (tech support) is included. If you adopt a rescue dog from Second Chance Rescue, you may take an obedience class from Reigning Cats and Dogs for $49, plus equipment. Enrollment is open but class space is limited. Call Lenore at 325-347-1700 or 325-347-2766 (cell) for more information or to sign up. Do something fun with your dog - come to our summer class and let your dog impress your family and friends with how smart he is!

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