KALLEMANN ... everything a little dog can learn

Tall Oaks Mr. Bodean



Dear Dad,

Thank you very much for your letter. I was really happy hearing from you once again! Last year I had to learn quite a lot of new things: Since we take part in Agility-competitions nearly every weekend and my mistress and I exercise together twice a week at our dog-school, I have had to learn a lot of words from human language. Do you, for example know the difference between "Left" and "Right"? Even when going our daily walkies I am now instructed to go "left" or "right" and have to know in which direction I gotta go. Sometimes this is quite annoying! But during tournaments when we have to hurry it is really handy - because I know more quickly where to go and do not have to make unnecessary detours, which would take too much time. Guess what, last August, I took the 1st place in Idstein - in Jumping and in A 2 twice!! My mistress nearly squeezed me to death because she was so proud of me.

I have known the commands "Come", "Sit", "Lie down", "Here" and "Stay" for ages, I would really know them in the sleep. I think "Foot" is an uncomfortable command, but if I obey at once I am allowed to walk without my leash. The latest word to be learned is "Hand". That doesn't mean that I pretend to be a little child holding my mistress' hand while rearing up on my hind legs, it also doesn't mean "Give me a paw", but it's the contrast to "Foot", meaning to stay very close to my mistress on the right side. This is necessary in the Agility, when running left-hand curves, because then it is more useful to run on my mistress' right side, for her to have the shorter distance (you know she isn't as quick as I am).

During Agility it is important for me to take care if my mistress says "Through", "Hopp" or "Up". Sometimes when I am too fast again she shouts "Slowly", to remind me either to catch the contact-zones of the hindrances or not to jump over the wrong obstacle by mistake (You know, unfortunately this sometimes happens and we are disqualified). If the way leads straight forward and no other choice is possible I run ahead all by myself hoping that we are the fastest.

Sometimes there are so interesting human words to be heard that I open my ears wide (as far as this is possible with my long heavy hair): When my mistress says "Sita is going to come", I am really looking forward to her coming because she is my friend, a Welsh-Terrier-female. One time I even bit a big hole in my mate Chico's leg, just because he intended to smell her. When Sita was small he never liked her and this is the reason why she is mine now!

"Walkie" or "Wanna go outside?" and of course "Feeding" are as well some of my favorite words, hearing them I jump hectically all around my mistress. Sometimes she stumbles over me then and we both hurt each other. Surely you also know the most beautiful words for us dogs: "well done, boy" or "you are a lovely boy" - how does your mistress usually say??

Well, and then there are still those unpleasant words like "Oy", "No", "That's enough", "Stop it", "Down", "Outside", or "Away" . But as behave very well most of the times, my mistress does not often say things like that. There's one thing she really hates about the two of us: When we are out we often find very tasteful food, such as horse droppings. When we are caught in the act the mistress shouts "Oy" very loudly. Mostly I spit everything out at once, so shocked am I, but Chico quickly chokes it down his stomach - he often has to cough because he swallows so hard. As our mistress is usually in a hurry in the mornings we do our wee-wee or pile very quickly when we are supposed to.

It's a horror for Chico when our mistress tells him to go bathing. He immediately hides below the table hoping not to be found. I don't mind, I let her wash over me, as my mistress can do my hair much better than I could.

The mistress is quite severe with us, but I think that's better than always chopping and changing, so one knows where one's limitations are. But sometimes, I was able to push my will on her: i.e. meanwhile I have been allowed to go to bed with her. When I was brought to my mistress I was 8 months old and knew already how nice lying in bed can be. As Chico was not allowed to sleep there she considered me sleeping in front of her bed as well more justified. I had the opinion that this was stupid and jumped on it over and over again - until she eventually gave up. By the way, since then, we have both been lying in the same bed with our mistress. After a while, Chico mostly means it to be too hot and jumps down again then. I prefer lying there with my legs and stomach stretched upwards into the air. It has a cooling effect and it's so relaxing. When asked in the morning "are we going to get up?" I am really looking forward to enjoying a new day. When I was younger I always jumped on my mistress's stomach in one leap. I did it with such power that she immediately opened up her eyes, but I don't think she was as enthusiastic about it as I was.

It has already been a long time since I was taught some tricks of how to amuse other people: When I do a roll to one side on the command "Around" or catch a soft toy when I am told to "get the little mouse" everybody considers me to be incredibly funny and mostly I get a tidbit for my effort. As we are living in a skyscraper I have learned to bark very quietly when I am told to " do quietly loud", so nobody is disturbed. But when my mistress says "Take care! or "Who is coming there?" I bark as loud as I can, for I have to protect her.

As I am an intelligent dog I know by now that my mistress is leaving the bathroom immediately after having used the deodorant spray. This is always the last deed before she puts her clothes on. I always run straight into the bedroom to lie down once again in the comfortable bed to watch her.

If she puts the guinea pigs' transport container on our dog pound it means that they will be cleaned, so I have to take care that none of them escapes. Well, I really would like to pinch them one time. Whether they are likely to play tag with me?

One time Chico really fell for it: The mistress usually keeps her cheese in a lunch-box with a hinged lid, which always cracks when the box is opened. When we once had a Tupper-party and the adviser wanted to introduce exactly the same box, Chico went on his hind legs in front of her in order to get some cheese. Our guests really laughed at him a lot - it was really embarrassing.

Do you also understand so many words of the human language? My mistress has already been taught a lot by me, but usually human beings are not very skillful in the use of dogs' language. Chico for example tells everyone in the elevator in the afternoons coming back from the walkies that we will get our food soon, but my mistress always has to translate it. Up to now we haven't found anyone else who understood us!

Love, yours 



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