Saturday, January 4, 2014

Malcolm's Progress

Progress:  n. prog-res or, esp. British, proh-gres
1.  a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage
2. growth or development;  continuous improvement

Accoutrement: n.   uh-koo-ter-muh-nt 
1. personal clothing, accessories,etc.
2. the equipment, excluding weapons and clothing, of a soldier

With the new year comes renewed life, renewed energy and renewed determination.....

As many of our adoring public are aware, we have spent much time and effort in the past year to build anew, as it were, our beloved Palace of Hagg.  There were many consultations with designers, engineers, builders and cabinet makers and much traveling to and fro to oversee construction crews and to shop for the many accoutrements that would adorn the new Palace.  With all that work one can well imagine that there was little time for our usual Royal endeavors.  Our twice-weekly visits to our dog club had to stop abruptly and while we tried to maintain a training and workout regimen;   it became clear early on, that there was only so much time in a day.  While Lady McKenzie was able to enroll in an agility class for a time, she had to travel great distances and it tired her so much that she begged forgiveness from attending another class.  Needless to say, that our Lord Malcolm would have been expected to suffer the greatest loss in his education, as he has always been the Chamberlain in most need of discipline and developmental progress.  

Here are just 4 posts concerning him, none of which are about his digestive habits.  These are about his lofty attitude and are provided just in case you need a refresher or you are new to the Courtly life and need to catch up........

Lord Malcolm had developed a fear of unknown people, unknown places and unknown dogs. As it would be a very long story to go into all the whys and wherefores again, I suggest you dig through some of the past posts to find out all his issues.  Or, better, you can trust me when I say that he is not lacking in issues that affect his behavior in public.  So, he was always the chosen Chamberlain when it came to hanging out on the construction site during the building process.  Terrified?  Yes.  He trembled and shook and drooled and never approached a worker.  He was forced to stay at our Servant's side though as she talked with the people and watched what they were doing.  All the crews were given instructions not to speak with milord Malcolm.  They were not even allowed to look at him.  But he was there at her side at all times, during loud noises and during quiet times and during times of much conversation.  He was never in harms way as he came to find out.  And he eventually realized that no one cared if he were there or not.  In fact, they didn't even notice him.  So he relaxed more and more as the building process dragged on.  Lord Malcolm even turned events around a bit and actually made friends with many of the workers.

At some point, we were able to move in and the Chamberlains got busy helping the staff to unload and decorate the new Palace.  Still, training was neglected.  But now I realize that it is time to begin afresh, and with that in mind, I enrolled milord in a private lesson with an instructor the staff found on line.  They were determined to send Lord Malcolm to boarding school to be trained away from his environment, but I, being the Duchess (as old as I am, I am still in charge), decided that at least we should see what this instructor would teach and what her methods might be.  

So yesterday, I sent Lord Malcolm with my most trusted servant to a lesson.  What I heard upon his return was simply amazing.  

The teacher brought 2 dogs with her to the lesson, a Shepherd of some sort from Germany and a small Pincer or toy Greyhound.  Malcolm was allowed to get comfortable as he was quite nervous when he entered the building.  After a few moments, he decided he liked the instructor and they set to work.  Clickers and treats (freshly roasted chicken) were used as rewards.  The Shepherd came out first and Lord Malcolm completely ignored it.  It even came and sat right next to him.  Not one bit of reactivity.  So out came little dog.  Again, no reaction.  Little dog was practically sitting upon our Malcolm and he completely ignored it.   He did so well (as did my servant) that the instructor actually observed that my servant knew more about dogs that most (self called) trainers in the city.  She was told that never had a dog of such good behavior and a handler of such quality come in for a lesson.  Well.  I fear she wasn't seeing what we at the Palace know to be true..........
See how Malcolm has his body positioned?  He is stiff and tense and is further away from the worker-man as compared to the rest of us.  I, of course, was the first to greet him and make him welcome.  Lady McKenzie, as you can see is obsessed with her own enjoyment.
My servant was so full of herself after all those accolades and Malcolm's good behavior that she decided to stop at PetsMart on her way home.  A little nervousness from Malcolm, but nothing over-wrought.  He actually went in.  There were many people around and a few dogs.  Small dogs.  Malcolm laid down on the floor and watched them, but never made a move to lunge or to eat them in any way.  We are all very proud of him.  He walked the aisles and bought some needed items and left.

He then spent the next 4 hours at Best Buy searching for the best computer and tablet combination with my servant.  Again, slightly nervous at the new sounds and smells, but he calmed down very quickly and hung out with all the blue shirts for a very long time.  The most funny thing I heard he did, was to shake and sling a snot ball at the feet of some lady who was not amused in any way.  We all got a good laugh at that.

At the end of the day, Malcolm had had a marathon training session.  It must have been somewhat like Boot Camp for him.  We all marvel at his great attitude.  He did not make one mistake yesterday.  Not one.  He was a perfect dog and no corrections had to be made.  We couldn't be more proud of him.  His progress and training will, of course, continue and he will go on other escapades.  But the next private lesson will be for Lady McKenzie and we shall try and address her hyper-activity and barking (actually screaming) episodes.  It is my goal that before I am rendered an invalid, I should have m'Chamberlains well trained and ready to care for the Palace upon my eventual demise.  To be sure,  it may be they who kill me.

~Lady Nessie, the Monster,
  Duchess of Hagg


Anonymous said...

Oh it is great that you agree with this. I know that its hard to belive on this but u did and wrote a good post.

Casey said...

I'm so proud of Malcom! It sounds like he's doing a wonderful job. Such improvement!

Minnie Boxer said...

That's some cute dogs you have there! It sure is a challenge to get our beloved boxers to manage their fears, anxiety, or excitement.

If you get a moment later, swing by my blog and have a few laughs out our stories as well.