Thursday, January 21, 2010

Can I ask you a favour?

It takes a village to raise a puppy.

I have been asking a lot of favours lately because 1) Mozart can't yet stay alone as long as we have to go to work and 2) I love the little dude, but I have no idea what I'm doing.

My lovely neighbour checks in on Mozart at 10:00 am and walks him at noon. Because of this, he can happily last from 8:30 to about 3:30, and I can concentrate at work without worrying. My sister, her boyfriend and my lovely friend A. have been checking in on him periodically and walking/chaperoning him for anywhere from an hour to half a day. While I sometimes worry about taking advantage of them, there is reciprocity in our relationships. I can pay them back.

But then we leave the zone of personal relationships and enter the zone of favours from strangers. The puppy class teacher is kind, and I try to emulate the calm, kind voice she uses. I have emailed her twice with questions that expand upon what we do in class. Her last reply was missing those tell-tale signs of intermediate intimacy, salutations. Can you email your puppy class teacher with questions, or should you be paying for that advice? I give heeps of advice to my students in emails, but it would be a conflict of interest for me to charge them for my tutoring services. Also, I'm A type.

Where I'm not sure that I'm A type, however, is with my dog. My boyfriend and I are just not routine people. Mozart is potty trained, sleeping through the night, not barking or biting, but I may have a pinched nerve in back from his pulling on the leash. How do I know that? A. is a physiotherapist. She hates giving advice. Now I owe her twice.


  1. if your puppy class teacher gave you her email, she should be ok with you using it to ask questions!
    We have 2 dogs so went through the puppy training twice! They are great, adorable and pretty well trained- except on a leash. I had a dog trainer come to the house a couple weeks ago to help and basically his advice boiled down to "you have to treat every minute of every walk as a training session." It's hard to do, but he promised that after awhile, they'd get it and only need me to treat every other minute of every walk as a training session.

    good luck!

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