My Life with Dogs #10

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. These Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on Face Book or Twitter. Best, John

Fame Tame
(A continuation of last week’s blog)

     It didn’t take long for me to uncover that something was amiss at Canine TV Trainers. Mr. Tuck always spent the first half-hour with every dog we trained. From that point it became my duty to carry on the process. I was amazed at how easy dog training was and figured I was a natural. The largest or smallest dog was putty in my hands. I could put a dog in a sit-stay for hours and nothing could make him move. I could recall a dog from a block away and he’d crash through a plate glass window to get to me. I could yell a down command and a dog would slam to the pavement in the middle of traffic.
Slowly, though, I noticed the temperament of the dogs I trained was not the temperament of the dogs that had first come in the store. Every dog I trained was even-tempered, eager to learn, non-aggressive, and passive. However, when first brought into the shop they had been wildly barking, jumping up on the owner, or pulling on the leash like an attack dog. Maybe I wasn’t the Houdini of dog trainers that I thought I was. Maybe something else was going on. Maybe Mr. Tuck’s first half-hour with each pet was more than what appeared.
Two months later, after closing hours, the three of us went to dinner at one of the seafood houses on the Potomac. Mr. Tuck and Carol craved fresh fish. There had to be 20 years difference in their ages, yet they spent most evenings and weekends together. She always pampered him and faintly lisped when she talked softly. They reminded me of the beauty and the beast and I was sure that their relationship was purely platonic. I had prepared myself, on this particular night, to delve into the unknown, wondering all the while, if my suspicions would get me fired.
My chest covered in a paper bib with beastly claws on the front, and in the middle of surf and turf dinner, I explained how much I enjoyed my work at Canine TV Trainers. Both listened intently wondering at my patronizing speech.
What the hell, I thought. Just ask the question. “Why do you spend the first half-hour with each dog?”
Mr. Tuck was never quick with an answer. He struggled with words and mulled them over before speaking. He knew their value and put a price on each. He removed his stained bib, wiped his mouth, and looked at Betty as if expecting her to speak for him. She did not return his look, instead picking between the surf and turf on her plate, not wanting any part in the conversation.
I should tell you that I suspected that Mr. Tuck was a chemist for the military. This opinion was based on various whispered conversations I had overheard between him and Carol…and at times on the phone. I had not become paranoid and did not envision Canine TV Trainers as a research facility of the US Government. But, on the other hand young minds conjure crazy ideas. The fact remained; something was going on in the first half-hour of training that affected each dog’s disposition. Worse, I suspected I wasn’t God’s gift to the world of dog training after all.
“What do you want to know?” The words hesitantly slipped from his mouth.
I told him of my suspicions.
He told me about Fame Tame, a form of psychological imprint that allows him to control the mind of the subject for a select period of time.
“You drug them?” I asked.
“In layman’s terms, yes. But, it’s more involved than that.”
“Is it legal?”
“Yes, but very few people know about it.”
“Is this a research tool for some kind of military experiment?”dog jumping (2)
“I can’t answer that.”
“Can’t?”
“Won’t.”
I was hooked.
The next day I administered Fame Tame to a new recruit. Thirty minutes later I took the dog outside and taught him the five commands of control. After 30 minutes of training he had it down pat. In fact, we could have sent the dog home that same afternoon…fully trained. But, who’d believe us. So we kept all trained dogs for thirty days, I exercised them everyday and went through the motions of continuous training, but the fact remains…they didn’t need it. They were already fully trained within the first 30 minutes of the program. Further, how would we make money if we sent them home the same day? Who’d pay $100 for a half-hour training session? And…nobody’d believe us anyway!

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