Saturday, June 20, 2009

So busy yesterday, I didn't have time to include a day 5 entry for Week at Bernie's. But now, it's time for...


I've discovered that having a puppy is a great way to meet the neighbors. Although we've lived on this street for 2 years now, and I'm out and about almost every day, it wasn't until I was accompanied by Bernie that everyone's come up to us to chat.

This is mostly great -- people are friendly, think Bernie's adorable and I've even found us a dog walker this way. The downside is that everyone and their brother offers unsolicited training advice. And it's either painfully repetitive (yes, I have tried to lure the dog with treats and his toys -- Bernie is either too savvy to our ploys or dain-bramaged to maintain interest), or completely contradictory. I've been told that he's too young for everything we're doing... or we should've started weeks ago. This-and-that food is good for him, but the alternatives are poochy poison. The Dog Whisperer is a godsend; Cesar Millan makes Michael Vick look like Dr. Doolittle.

Of course, we may bring half of this on ourselves. Adelphia and I managed to get away from Bernie to grab drinks with friends, and spent the entire time talking about our mutual pet pooches' peculiarities. Another person came in late to the conversation and tried to join in by asking us how many kids we had.

Then again, there are some unequivocally annoying bow-wow buttinskies. During our walks, we had the occasional person yell things out his window at us. My wife heard someone shout "Don't pet him!" when she was trying to reward the puppy for making it twenty paces without distraction. And then there was time Bernie's whimpering fit elicited a "Shut that fuckin' dog up!"

Ahh, it's like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.


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