The Dogcharmer: Unfond memory

A little too much English in the body language.


Dear Dogcharmer readers,

The Oak Bluffs Post Office is somewhat of a social scene, and at this time of year, the last thing I want to get is one of those yellow or red cards which means I’m gonna be in line for awhile. So yesterday I’m in line, and someone whose dog and I had a pretty successful tête-à-tête says to me, “With over 800 appointments a year, you must have had some screwups?” When my wife, Jaye, feels I’m a little too full of myself, she likes to remind me of this particular story:


First impressions

Very well-to-do house in Englewood, N.J. It’s noon, my second appointment, as I’m graciously welcomed in by the lady of the house, Joann, and my pupil, Willy, the 4-month-old Airedale. Instead of jumping all over me, he’s obviously “soft,” because he’s hanging back a little as we enter the huge, opulent den. So I immediately start telling Joann, “Dogs read two things, body language and voice intonation, and there’s no domestic animal that can read the body language of a human better than a dog.” And to make my point I start to squat down, knowing that Willy is likely to respond by coming to me because of my nonthreatening, friendly gesture, getting down — not having noticed that the metal door of Willy’s crate had been left open. My butt hits the top of the crate door as I squat down, which proceeds to tear a huge rip in my pants as well as a three-inch gash in my ass. The great dog trainer! I’m in the house about 60 seconds and I’m bleeding profusely from my butt, on a beautiful, thick carpet. How’s that for a first impression? Joann was nice enough to offer me a pair of her husband’s pants to go home with.

So who’s perfect?


The Dogcharmer


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