Excuses Your Handler Uses. Or “Trying to find an explanation for your loser skills”
I was representing the Small and Sniffy at a scenting demo in Mississauga this weekend and while I was my usual sensational self, the Human Half was decidedly not. The list of excuses she rolled out was both appalling and pathetic. I’m giving you a sample of them and how to respond.
- I worked the overnight shift and I haven’t had any sleep.
Oh please. Cry me a river. While you were lounging around at work, I was stuck on the big bed with my brothers who are morons. My beauty sleep was impacted. But notice *I* managed to shine.
- It’s cold and my arthritis is bad.
Really? This old chestnut? Let me call the Wahmbulance. I had to sleep on the pillow with a mutt butt in my face. Imagine MY suffering. Arthritis arschmitis.
- I haven’t had enough coffee. I can’t function without caffeine
Perhaps you need an intervention. A residential treatment facility. Or maybe you should just woman up like I do and get with the program.
- I’m old. I’m not as fast with my hands or my feet as I used to be.
OK. Well, I can’t argue with this one. You are, in fact, old. A moldy old fig. The last torn leaf on the tree. The bloom is off your rose. The avocado has gotten too ripe. Fortunately, my youth is eternal and I covered for us both.
Don’t let your human haul out these sad justifications for inadequate handling. I mean, how hard can it be to do this? We do all the work, they are just there to……I don’t know….do something. Hang onto the leash so it doesn’t get tangled or something. Personally, I think it’s all to make them feel like they have some relevance in the world, but that’s another whole discussion.
As always, my struggles are your humour.
Having now spent some years in scent work, I’ve refined my indication into performance art. I’ve seen the sit (yawn), the down (Boooring), the smash (Go labs and Malinois) and the stare (my herding peeps excel at this). But I felt that this whole sport was lacking a certain flair.
I used to do a down or a sit and then my artistic soul rebelled and I came up with …..wait for it…..the Twerk indication. This is art, folks. This is poetry in motion while also serving the purpose for which an indication is intended.
What is this twerk indication you may ask? It’s a finely tuned hovering between a sit and a down. A delicate, almost hummingbird like vibration with one’s hind quarters never really touching the ground but never really fully upright. I further enhanced the absolute beauty of this move by adding in a head bob with a pleading look to my handler. It is enough to bring you to tears.
The added benefit of the Twerk indication is that can be mightily confusing to your handler. Additional bonus? It opens her up for some remorseless teasing from fellow handlers whose dogs do more traditional indications.
I encourage my fellow sniffers to expand their horizons. See the indication for what it can be not just what it is. Let your Freak Flag Fly. Bust a move. Dazzle the judges. Flights of fancy foot work await you.
Miley Cyrus of pugs? PLEASE. Miley should be so lucky.
In which SnifferPug attends a seminar in an effort to assist her handler meet the standards to which she wishes to become accustomed
Having spent some years trying to get my human up to speed on her skills, I insisted she attend a workshop offered on “Alerts” given by SDDA trainer Stacey Shaw. I continue to hold out hope that she may, with some skilled help, be able to mediate what can only be described as ham handed handling.
I was pleased with Stacey. She met all my SnifferPug requirements. First, she had food. That is key. Second, she knew of what she was speaking. Third, she pointed out the numerous things my human does incorrectly: her markers are slow, she marks the wrong behaviour, her food production slower than squashed snail. And she stares at me…what is that about?
I have to say that I was my usual remarkable and stunning self, and targeted Toonies with alacrity. Stacey did have to point out that my human brings all the excitement of watching paint dry in her responses to my fabulousness, but I digress. The human did show some improvement and there is a chance we may actually get this gig in gear. There was some discussion of throwing food, but I could have told Stacey that my human can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a Mack Truck. However, my human gave it her best shot and even I have to admit that she tried hard and there is hope for her. Not much, but some.
I encourage all right thinking sniffy dogs to bring their humans to these events. I found it quite validating to have my deep concerns about my human’s abilities confirmed. I’ve done the best I can, but really, I have the nose, she has the hands. One of us isn’t using their equipment to maximum effect.
And so, as my maiden effort in writing The Scents of Humour, I wish all my fellow sniffers well and to maintain hope for their humans. If mine can improve, anyone can.
Over and out.