Honestly, for all my experience with animals, I am horrible with anything that needs training. Take my children, for example. They are completely untrained, except, possibly in the bathroom department and even then, I sometimes wonder. I asked my son to please make his bed and he claims that he is physically unable to do this in the morning as his blood pressure is low. Do I realize how hard it is to even make it down the stairs? I should feel lucky he even gets to school. As for my dogs, they are terrible. I know training is good, I know it’s important, why then, can I not do this?
When I got Matilda she was such a stunning puppy that my eyes would squint up when I looked at her. When we went out, the Golden Goose and I would take her with us and she would just snuggle up and sleep in my arms. At home, she was perfect, lounging like a tiny waif upon our bed. The joy I found in ordering special collars for her should really be contained to anniversaries or birth of children. She didn’t even mind the crate, painted a pretty mint green with a big bow. After a good while (week) I decided she was trained and gave her the run of the house, where she proceeded to sneak into every unused room to hide her no-nos. Our housekeeper would say to me “that good children made no-nos in that room” and I would know that something bad had happened. I know it’s bad that she calls Matilda “the good children” when compared to all others in my household. When my son, already an untrained soul in his own right, got his dog, Finn, I knew better. I stuck to the crate routine and truly, he is house-trained, but the chewing he has done is titanic. The chipper from Fargo could not have destroyed more things in my house. Shoes, Victoria’s Secret bras that gave me such a great rack that I surprised myself every time I passed a mirror, did I mention SHOES? Only my favorites, though. Oh, and my sofa from the 90s in my sunroom that’s covered with such expensive Rose Cumming fabric that I cannot bear to recover it’s floral chinzy beauty? Ate the skirt right off of it.
There is a website now that showcases the shame of a dog’s sin. I could fill that site and then more.
The bad thing about having one bad child is that soon the allure of a bad thing becomes too much for the good one. Matilda, lured out of her old lady stupor, has been killing chickens, chasing cats, running away with socks and making no-nos since Finn arrived. Her worst fears include the vacuum, mop, broom and, for some reason, straws. They terrify her. I have tried putting her in time out in the broom closet, surrounded by a variety of straws, but it only succeeds in scaring her, not teaching her a lesson, and has caused me to cut back on my vacuuming out of regret.
I realize I suck at training anything. I’m a whimp, a noodle, a pushover. I can’t make a child do his homework, when I get mad and yell, I start giggling halfway through and the kids or dogs or husband lose all respect. I can’t stick with a routine to save my life. I’m sure there’s a name for this, or a medication with heart failure or loose bowels as a side effect, but what I’m really looking for is a support group, preferably with a wine bar, hot waiters and really nice furniture with no teeth marks.