Edsel, I have one word for you. Plastics.

I wish I could tell you how proud I am of Edsel. He has graduated his manners class.

When he wriggled into his class nine weeks ago, I thought we were gonna have to leave on day one. He would not stop BARKING and LUNGING at all the other dogs. It was so humiliating.

And then? Nine weeks later? He strolled right in, said, " 'sup?" to Ginger the doxie, Mabel the Irish setter, and his personal favorite, if by "favorite" one means "your butt is FASCINATING to me," Cooper, the Golden who is the same age as Edsel, and twice as big.

On graduation day, each dog had to go individually into the ring, there, and I know you are picturing us all in some grand Cirque de Soleil tent or something, but really we were in the gym of a rec center in the park. Gymme de Parque. Getyourlearnon
But they had an area fenced off, and each dog had to:

  • run through a tunnel ("go to the liiiiight!");
  • wait with his leash dropped while his owner walked away, then come when he was called;
  • walk in a heel position around a bunch of orange cones ("Gotta beat Marcia, gotta beat MARCIA!") (everyone from my demographic gets that. Everyone not from my demographic is all, "?")
  • and finally walk in heel until the instructor said, "Tell your dog to sit! Tell your dog to lie down!"

Good Lord a'livin', I did not think the Eds could pull all that off. And to top it off, she said as an extra credit thing, we could teach our dog a trick if we wanted to.

Who rose to that challenge? Who is neurotic and people-pleasing and has to be extra super impressive? Who wanted, in a weeks' time,  to teach her dog that language where those people only speak in clicks?

"Edsel, speak!"

"!!, !!!!!"

I tried to teach him "bang!" which is a trick Tallulah can kind of do, where I point my finger and say, you know, "bang!" and she falls over dead. And I have used this line before but it is really true. Tallulah falls over dead in the way that Bella from Twilight would fall over dead.

"Oh." Sighhhh. "I guess I'm, ya know, dead. Heh."

What I don't have down is the dramatic fall-to-the-ground-quickly thing. I don't know how to teach them that. But anyway, I worked with Edsel, and worked with him, and worked with him, and went through nine thousand six hundred five billion and twelve training treats, which I'm certain is good for him. And at one point I sat on the floor and burst into tears, which was good for both of us.

And the whole thing was so NECESSARY. It was so MEANINGFUL that he learn "bang."

Eds Senior picture

Anyway, the big day got there and we all took our pets up for the graduation.

Cooper the Golden retriever would not go through that tunnel if you'd have put a sexy girl Golden wearing bacon stilettos on the other side. Oh, his owner stood there and cajoled and called and whistled and bent over and clapped and climbed into the damn thing himself and all Cooper would do is sort of daintily put one fluffy paw in there and go, "Yeah, there's just no effin' way, old man."

He did, however, do a high five for his special trick.

The German shepherd ran through the tunnel and came when he was called, but was too distracted by the Pit to do his trick, which was going to similarly be a high five.

The Pit felt the same way about the German. I was scared to death we were gonna have the Sharks and the Jets throwing down in that gym, between those two dogs. They'd been eyeing each other all class, and I think they had both been hot for Mabel all term.

Anyway, finally it was our turn. Edsel had not liked the tunnel before, but on graduation day? "Hell. I'll take the sexy Golden with bacon shoes."

Then I put his leash down and walked away. Now, traditionally in my family, this is where trouble starts. My grandfather had a humiliating graduation experience with his Dalmatian during this step, when instead of staying and waiting to be called? The Dalmatian picked up the Pomeranian next to him and threw it in the air.

 But Edsel? Kept the Poms out his mouth and BOUNDED after me when I called. We beat the PANTS off Marcia around those cones. Then? When we were walking? And the instructor said, "Sit your dog!" He totally sat. Then she said, "Down your dog!"

I said, "Down!" But Edsel? He did, "Bang."

Poor Edsel. We had done bang so many times that he forgot how to just lie down like a normal living un-shot dog. Every time had to be a dramatic death. But the instructor let us demonstrate our trick and he did it very well. No easy high-fives for Edsel. WE ARE CHAMPIONS IN THIS HOUSE!

Edsel's started biting his claws a little, but that's normal, right?

Diploma Up next? The work world. He's been looking on Muttster.com and on CarEAR Builder. Get it? Cause of his…ears?

Hey, what's that behind me? Edsel, wai–BANG!


132 thoughts on “Edsel, I have one word for you. Plastics.

  1. June I came to tell you that you are my favorite blogger. Then Edsel redefines favorite. But you still are. Get it? Butt…


  2. Yay Edsel! I knew he had it in him.
    FWIW my husband taught my dog Bang and she always falls down dead instead of lying down. Except her head isn’t dead, it’s looking up hopefully for the treat.


  3. Just because 3 doctors say something doesn’t make it true… there are a lot more than 3 doctors in the world… and for a study to be reliable, it needs to be replicated several times, and you need to check the sources, and it needs to be published in a peer-reviewed medical or scientific journal… I can’t remember if the whole “meat doesn’t break down” thing was on this post or yesterday’s, but just tossing in my .02.


  4. Congrats to the Edsel!! We sooo need team Edsel badges – can I make some for you June? I want to head his team, especially now that he is all properly trained and graduated. Just don’t forget to keep using the commands or he will get lazy and turn into a brat. I know – ours forgets her manners from time to time and gets to be a real diva.


  5. Hulk, we’ve only been eating cow for a couple of thousand years. Before that it was wild game which is much different. I’m an omnivore, not a vegitarian. My DIL is a naturopath and was vegan for twenty years. Had to go off it because she was getting osteoarthritis and doesn’t recommend it anymore. Cows have only been domesticated as food for a short time.
    Two of the docs are Dr, Oz and Jillian McKeif (sp? – You Are What You Eat) and I can’t remember the third. I gave up after that. Asked my own doc who confered. Well published docs.
    Eat whatever you like. I’m just saying I don’t. Having cancer changes how you think about what you put in your body.
    Migraines are largely related to food and hormones. One you can control. That’s my suggestion to June is all I’m sayin’.


  6. Raaah Gillian McKieth is not so respected here in the UK. She doesn’t call herself Dr in her programs here now as she’s never been a medical doctor and started skipping her ‘clinical nutritionist PhD’ bit, nearly got into trouble for it. I agree that it takes time for the pioneering research of great scientific minds to get replicated and filtered til it becomes government-sanctioned advice but she’s also claimed DNA is only present in actively growing things like algae (ignoring the DNA in nearly every cell that was once living, plant or animal), chlorophyll oxygenates your blood (chlorophyll needs light for this process to happen, not much of which is found in your circulatory system) which make me doubt her cutting edge scientific insights.


  7. Wow Furry, didn’t realise what a lot of rant I’d typed. I totally agree that what you eat has one of the biggest impacts on your health, have to watch cholesterol and refined sugars and such. I just didn’t realise what a thing I had about the more untested claims.


  8. I know, Nithya. Most people do. That’s why I tried not to get into the topic and posted my bit to June after the this post went up. I should have just emailed her or kept my mouth shut, but it was bad judgement. I had just woken up. Gah.
    I do eat red meat on occassion. If I am served it in someone else’s home and on St. Patrick’s day, I make corned beef and cabbage.
    You’re the medical expert, but from what I’ve read, cow products are one of the biggest allergy problems, esp. for children. Milk, etc. Most of the world drinks goat milk. It’s more easily digested because the human body has the enzymes to do it properly. The problem with the cow is it sticks around too long in your colon because humans can’t break it down quickly.


  9. Honestly, though, Furry, I have been appreciating your advice. I cant eat a damn thing anymore now that I have to watch my mirgaines, get my iron up, and keep my cholesterol down. Hello, bowl of spinach.


  10. Oh, c’mon Fur. I just like to mess with you.


  11. Doesn’t it seem like there are way more allergies and such to things out there than when we were kids?
    Makes one wonder why?


  12. You know Furry, many meals I eat and cook clean but find myself craving beef every 10 days or so. I never considered substituting veal or pork for that craving and I always make beef for the “cheat night” meal. I told my husband last night that we are substituting pork or veal for cheat night for a couple months. Also I made a vegetarian lasagna (whole wheat noodles of course, fresh not canned tomatoes etc) all because you talked a bit yesterday about clean eating principles. When one is trying to eat clean, it’s always nice to hear of other people out there doing the same thing. It motivates me to clean up my many lapses that until last night were becoming more the norm. Also, the black bean info was good to know too; making black bean burgers tonight all because of you. Again. Thanks Furry! Now if you could just talk a bit about portion sizes, cuz mine are innapropriately HUGE! *smile*


  13. Yay! Amish Annie eats clean, too! Have you ever gotten the magazine, Clean Eating or Eating Well? They both have great recipes and ideas. Do you think you crave the beef because your iron levels are low? Altough eating it that seldom can’t be all that bad for you…


  14. Amish Annie is not a hugger and doubts Furry is but I would make an exception and give Fur a big ol' hug says:

    My red meat craving comes being an Iowa farm girl I think, or growing up that way anyway. Iron level numbers have always been good.
    I have a subscription to the Clean Eating mag but I am not familiar with the Eating Well mag. Gonna pick that up today at the store though. There is Healthy Cooking magazine but I’m not impressed with that. I have never gone on the CE and EW websites, but will definitely start doing that; they probably have additional recipes and info and it’s great to have new resources to stay motivated. I have read Robert Kennedy’s Oxygen magazine for over 10 years now; the precursor, so to speak, of the clean eating movement. I love strong looking women and I always found that mag to be exceedingly helpful although I find myself not purchasing it when I am not eating clean (sometimes for several years!). Bad Angie. Crap, I think I’ll pick that mag up today too. I would gladly appreciate any other CE resources you know about too.
    On a side note, I was training at Boot Camp last summer and every one was losing weight but me and my trainers were not happy because it skewered their success numbers. I swore to my trainer I ate clean. She asked me my definition and examples of clean. I told her. She looked me up and down and said, “Then you’re eating too much of it.” Zing. But true, she had it nailed. So I’m motivated now to work on that as well. It’s odd how inspiration and motivation can come out of the blue. Thanks again!


  15. Yeah, when I first started, it was a pain but I weighed everything out until I learned what a portion was. Now I can get four ounces of meat, 2 ounces of pasta and a ounce of cheese right every single time. Practice, I guess. You may be eating carbs too late in the day, too. Terra can handle it, but I can’t. Try just eating veg and a protein for dinner. You can have unlimited veg to fill up if it isn’t sauced.


  16. June, speaking of Edsel, can you believe how big he is now? Wasn’t he just a puppy last week? It is like that cute commercial with the little girl sitting in the driver’s seat and her father is giving her all the information about being a careful driver. He hands her the car keys and in the next shot she is 16. That’s how quickly Edsel has grown.


  17. Okay, here’s my totally unsolicited comment for the day: PLEASE consider not eating veal. Do you know how they raise/treat the animals in order to make it? If you don’t eat it, you won’t be supporting the cruelty.
    I’m not preaching–really–I just think people should know what they’re eating, and what practices they may be inadvertently, unwittingly supporting by eating certain things, such as veal, or foie gras.


  18. Dang, I thought that’s what Furry said but my mistake, sorry. Don’t know what veal is(is it lamb or baby cow?) but I would not nor have I ever ate it. I do however eat pork.
    My neighbor raises organic beef, poultry and lamb. I stopped buying my poultry from him last year when he started raising lamb.
    What is veal? Maybe I should look that up.


  19. Uh, not gonna be eating veal anytime soon.


  20. Amish Annie – It’s not even so much the fact that these are 1 -3 mo. old calves, as that they are usually raised in tiny crates, because if they move, the flesh will not be as tender, since muscle will develop. See wikipedia’s entry of veal (subheading: animal welfare).
    And research foie gras too.
    And now, thank you June, truly, for allowing me to hijack your blog for a small anti-animal cruelty campaign, and I will shut up now and go back to being a quieter admirer of your blog! Cheers.


  21. Congratulations to Edsel! That is awesome news! Those are hard tests! How did you teach the Bang? I want to teach Zak that so we go a visitin to the nursing homes he can do that one…well on second thought maybe Bang…your dead isn’t such a good idea?


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