Belle gives Performance Reviews

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Good morning. Thank you all for coming. I know we’re all busy, busy, but these little sessions of ours facilitate the effectiveness of our team. So without further ado, I’ll begin.

Blitz, let’s start with you.

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First of all, I am pleased to note that you continue to make improvements in your attitude. When I choose to occupy a bed on the floor, you no longer challenge me for it. This shows a maturing understanding and a commitment to teamwork. Sorry about the boo-boo on your nose. But if you don’t stick it where it’s not wanted, you’ll be much happier—and healthier.

Also, you are doing a fine job in challenging intruders: mail persons, garbage collectors, real estate brokers, neighbors talking too loud, religious proselytizers—you are right on the job. As you have seen, when I deem it worthwhile, I will add my presence to the effort.

You might pay more careful attention to my reactions, however. If I lift my head from the rug and then set it back down again, you should take that as a cue to chill. Really, how many times does that poor neighbor need to walk down her driveway with her baby daughter, before you decide they’re not barbarians at the gates?

Then there’s the issue of my butt. I don’t mind the occasional sniff. It shows a polite interest and even pack solidarity. But this burying your nose in there for minutes at a time is just taking advantage. I’m fixed. It’s not going to get you anywhere. That’s asking for a trip to boo-boo land. You have been warned.

Let’s move on to Susan.

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You, too, have shown great improvements. When I come up and poke my nose in your ribs (or your crotch) there’s much less yelping, and much more immediate petting. I’m glad to see that all my hard word with you has paid off. You are really coming along.

Now for the next step: when you’re on the couch and I come over and sit on your foot with my back to you, that means reach around and scratch my chest. If I lift my head, my neck should be included. This may be a difficult concept to incorporate into your routine, but I’m sure you can master it. Just have patience with yourself. Together we can work through this.

Finally, Harry.


You how I feel about you, and how I enjoy our training sessions. You are getting much better at giving me the cues I need to perform to my top ability. But I must take issue with the quality of treats you use. Charlee Bears treats from Trader Joes? Really? I suggest a minimum donation of round steak, and some ribeye for the really hard stuff (like the go-away.) Haven’t all the classes I’ve consented to attend with you emphasized the necessity of high-value treats for encouraging complicated behaviors? Dogs like me don’t come along every day, so you need to show the deference due me.

And then there’s the issue of last Wednesday. You went out the door with Blitz alone, despite my strong protestations. You two didn’t come back for an hour and a half. And when you did, you both smelled strongly of the sand in Deb Harpur’s backyard. And Blitz’s breath smelled of HOT DOGS! You took him out and did agility with him! Don’t try to deny it. You are so busted. I am hurt. Am I not your dog? Do I not deserve your time and exclusive attention, after all the sacrifices I’ve made for you?

If you’re smart, you’ll be scrambling to find a way to make it up to me. And it better not involve Charlee Bears.

That’s all. Meditate on your sins and resolve to do better.

Ta for now,



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