As you may have gathered from some of my previous posts, Rudi the Puppy is not the easiest dog in the world. We’ve done obedience classes and tried to train her at home, but she’s continued to be nearly

impossible to walk on leash and she’s eaten several pairs of shoes. Nice shoes. She’s lucky I’m a vegetarian and didn’t turn her into dinner.

Anyway, I decided that it wasn’t fair to her or me to allow the behavior to continue. I hated taking her for walks because she sucked it was so frustrating, and she didn’t understand what I was so upset about. So, I hired a dog behavioralist to come over and help us out.

Gainesville Canine Academy offers a service where they come out and spend 90 minutes with you and your dog(s) and solve all your problems, and we just finished. It was great. Michelle had Rudi walking easily on a leash within five minutes (less, really), and gave us some cheap, easy ways to make Rudi (and Yuki, for that matter) use her mind.

Turns out that thinking is really hard for dogs. Thinking for, like, 15 minutes for them is like us running hard for 30 — it wears them right out. And, wearing Rudi out means she’s less likely to have the energy to eat my shoes. Which means I will keep her now.

And, believe it or not, Rudi actually learned while we watched. Michelle said she had potential to learn quite a bit, which I probably wouldn’t have guessed to start with but I’m happy to know I ain’t raisin’ no fool.

All this means we have to find challenging ways to feed the dogs. Like making them figure out how to get food out of cereal boxes and juice bottles, which serves another purpose — it’s totally entertaining.