I have it much, much easier than so many people. I know this. I feel guilty about this.
And I'm grateful. I'm just not grateful every moment and sometimes I need to verbally lie on the floor and pound my fists and stomp my feet.
So thank you for letting me do that and being sympathetic instead of telling me to stop being a solipsistic, privileged turd.
So now where are we?
Wanda has been doing online dog training.
I mean, we meet with the trainer online, and then we do the training in person.
Wanda's computer skills aren't strong enough. Also, I'm not so sure about her commitment to education.
Our Wanda has many positive attributes. She is a lovely, kind, patient dog who puts up with a lot of shenanigans, particularly from India.
We weren't sure if she knew her name in the beginning. Now we are 100% certain she knows her name. She just pauses to decide whether or not she wants to come.
She also pulls on the leash. And she's strong.
She pulls extra hard when there is some highly suspect rotting pizza crust that she desperately wants to snarf before we can manage to stop her.
I would like these things to improve.
My friend Jen has this amazing dog trainer, but he's in North Carolina. Jen was offering me training tips, and sent me videos, and her dog that went through training is just beautifully trained.
So when she told me they were doing online courses, I was delighted.
One, we need to train Wanda. Two, it's very nice to have something concrete, with measurable goals, to focus on.
It's still the first week. We meet online every Wednesday to go over the next week's assignments.
In the past week, I've spent a whole lot of time walking and running a triangle in the park. You choose points 50 feet away from each other, and then walk the dog on a long line, but with different parameters every two days.
Most people seem to have yards. I was like, well, let's see how our local park goes.
The first day, two affable drunk men wanted my attention every time I was near their bench, which was close to Triangle Point B.
It's DC, and I'm used to drunks in the park, so I just said hi back (each time) and then focused on the task at hand.
Today and tomorrow the goals are to get her to stay within two feet while walking. She gets farther than that and you run in the other direction and go back to the starting point.
I have done a lot lot lot of running back and forth in the park. A lot.
The trainer wants us to submit videos so he can see how we are doing. India has been my videographer, and as such, there are a lot of minutes of sky or grass.
Yesterday I was really bummed, wondering if Wanda was ever going to be willing to follow. I was panting as I counted off the 15 seconds at each point before resuming.
She is stubborn. But so am I.
Today I could see progress, and feel much more heartened.
As it turns out, the photos and videos are aimed at my butt half the time, and I mean, whatever, we all have butts. I just don't spend so much time watching mine run the other direction.
Also, I am on the verge of getting Nick to cut my hair. It is making me crazy.
If you've ever had short hair and tried to grow it out, you know that it inevitably gets a poof somewhere that you don't want. And it's flat where a poof might be nice.
Or maybe this is just me.
And if you're growing out your hair and also dye it with semipermanent pink, because you felt like that would be a good distraction, then there is the added je ne sais quoi of roots and half-pinkness as well as the poofing and sticking to your head as you run back and forth from lamppost to tree like a maniac.
It's all going pretty well, is what I'm saying.