Zodi’s Blog

Awkward Obedience

Three weeks ago we enrolled The Puppy into an obedience course held at the local municipal center. Aside from the occasional screeching wife beater or flighty crackhead being hauled into the police station it’s a lovely location, right on serene waters of the Gulf. There is a skateboard park only fifty feet away which, while distracting and frightening to my ADD addled, easily startled dog, serves as a constant reminder that I’m younger and cooler than the rest of the people in dog training school. While they often glance over with irritation and distaste, I watch the hip youngsters with the admiration of shared athleticism, knowing that I could top their daredevil antics provided I had enough OxyContin in my system and Icy-Hot on my back. I also fucking love it when they fall down and get hurt.  

Puppy training

First day of school

The woman who runs the class, Sarah, reminds me of myself because, while she’s attractive, charming and well intentioned, she lacks focus and has the organizational skills of a pipe bomb. Her biggest character defect seems to be her late stage Alzheimer’s memory. Every Tuesday starts off the same, with a re-introduction of ourselves and our dogs, a re-writing of email addresses and phone numbers and a re-promise to send lesson plans and the recipe for the dog crack that we were given the first week but haven’t seen since. She gave us all a sample the first week and I’ve never seen a dog react to anything that wasn’t a dead animal covered in shit with such utter delight. It’s like how cats would react to catnip if the catnip had injured baby canaries and ecstasy mixed in with the green leafy stuff. 

 I can’t blame Sarah for her inability to remember names however, especially not with this class. There are four small, fluffy, white dogs: Bentley, Brady, Bella and Beasley. There is a large, dim witted Labrador named Buddy and an adorable Bulldog puppy named Bradley who stole Puppy’s thunder because he is actually puppy shaped. The two couples who own Bentley, Brady, Bella and Beasley are just as pedestrian, bland and Caucasian as their dogs. I can’t remember their names and can only assume them to be something like Brad and Betty and Bob and Buffy. Who cares? The point is that all eight of the vanilla looking, weak tea drinking, boring beings are interchangeable and easily forgotten.

 Buddy’s owner looks like a younger Marge Schott. And when I say younger I mean not yet dead. But still pretty old. She shows up nicely buzzed and is hammered by the end of the class. She carries a large gray water bottle filled with something that causes her to grimace and shudder after every sip. The more she ‘rehydrates’ the more her New York accent comes out along with a disposition that progresses from surly to caustic. She also has a hard time with names and has taken to calling the men Buster, the women Honey and the dogs either Hey or God Damn it.

It’s just like this only the chair is vodka.

The owner of Bradley The Bulldog Puppy is a supersized black man with bulbous, bloodshot eyes and an easy smile. This is my kind of people and it’s him that I feel a kinship with, although I can’t remember his name. I want to say Bernard but that can’t be right.


Despite all the confusion, Puppy does quite well with instruction. She’s nervous and twitchy, especially around Marge Schott and Buddy but so far she’s managed to accomplish every task that she’s been taught. Especially after getting a taste of that canine crack the first week. After hearing Puppy’s Corpsey Cat story and witnessing for herself how nervous the dog actually is, Sarah treats Puppy like the ear taster in a special ed class. This culminates in both Puppy receiving special attention as well as having to sit out of some of the more difficult or anxiety producing tasks. We all must take care not to upset the ‘special student.’ All of this gives Puppy an undeserved air of accomplishment and pride that she wears like an oversized copper metal from one of those socialist sports competitions that give everyone a prize.      

Thinking of who she can blow for more doggy crack.

This last week we had to ‘Pass The Puppy,’ an exercise in which The Puppy was ironically excluded due to her neurotic nature. As Sarah explained Pass The Puppy, our dog, The Puppy, looked around expectantly for an instruction with the hope of doggy crack to follow. “Ok now pass Bucky(?) to Bennett(?) and Burt(?) to Belinda(?),” said Sarah, tilting her voice upward like an Australian and turning every pause into a question. While everyone looked around with confusion she told me to walk The Puppy around the outside of the loose circle. “Ok good, now pass Bitzi(?) to Bonner(?) and Bess(?) to Bambi(?),” Sarah continued. The eight Caucasians condescendingly grumbled that they didn’t know a Bitzi or a Bonner, Marge Schott swore and sipped and grimaced and shuddered and eyed my black buddy Bernard with suspicion all while The Puppy pranced around the outside of the chaotic circle with a false sense of accomplishment like a mildly retarded stallion and I stared wistfully into the distance, hoping that somebody took a header off the half pipe. 

June 5, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. Gosh, am I first again? This is awkward.
    Nothing like a group of strangers gathered together for a common goal. That’s always goldmine for observational humor as you have just most excellently demonstrated.
    Loved this! – “the organizational skills of a pipe bomb”

    Comment by Amy | June 5, 2011 | Reply

    • This is awkward. Scott’s wife is starting to wonder why you are parked outside their house lurking through the binoculars at his computer to see when he hits send.

      Comment by Bearman | June 5, 2011 | Reply

      • Then again, if she’s married to Scott, she probably doesn’t think this is odd at all.

        And, thanks for outing me. Now I gotta get a new car, dammit.

        Comment by Amy | June 6, 2011 | Reply

        • Considering that she’s married to me, she probably did it herself one time.

          Don’t, I need a ride to the pharmacy later.

          Thanks Amy!

          Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 6, 2011 | Reply

      • I’m used to that. The FBI has been watching me for years. That’s why I use Zodi instead of Scott Oglesby.


        Thanks Bearman!

        Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 6, 2011 | Reply

    • You’re so right. Luckily I hardly ever put myself in situations where I’m amongst a group of strangers to get to witness all the fun. I should start getting out more.

      Thanks Amy!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 6, 2011 | Reply

  2. Every time I had a favorite line picked out “orginazational skill of a pipe bomb” just as an example, I read down a couple of sentences and had a new favorite Scottisim.

    You seriously crack me up.

    Comment by candice | June 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Now that’s a book I could actually complete; Scottisims. I work best in short (very short) bursts.

      Thanks Candice!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 6, 2011 | Reply

  3. I love people whose disposition ranges from “surly” to “caustic.” Especially the kind of people who I only have to see periodically for limited amounts of time and whose personality range is usually directed at someone else.

    Once again, your life is our entertainment. Thanks for living such an entertaining life.

    Comment by Capitalist Lion Tamer | June 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Then you’d love my fake grandfather. Fake, because he wasn’t related to me, thank god. He was a character study for the role of surly/caustic/evil bastard. I wish I had video of him so people would believe some of the stories.

      I can’t wait until you go to dog training; that’s when the real entertainment begins.

      Thanks CLT!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 6, 2011 | Reply

  4. I don’t think the class will be complete until Bradley mounts Bentley, Brady, Bella and Beasley!

    Comment by Thomas Stazyk | June 5, 2011 | Reply

    • It’s bound to happen. Luckily there are hoses nearby.

      Thanks Thomas!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 6, 2011 | Reply

  5. Oh, this is such a wonderful post? It reminds me of Rumpole the collie’s special nees status as a puppy? The only thing is? I don’t think I know any Aussies whose intonations sound more questioning that suggesting?

    More, MORE! We need, we need, we need more Zodi posts to read.

    Comment by Mitzi G Burger | June 6, 2011 | Reply

    • I’m glad you like it? Sadly, I’ve gotten my knowledge of the Australian accent off of such shows as Australian’s Next Top Model and Big Brother Australia. My wife loved those shows when we were in Spain.

      More to come, I promise!

      Thanks Mitzi!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 6, 2011 | Reply

  6. Of course Puppy is a special student. He is from Spain after all 😉 Great observations of people.

    Comment by Reb | June 6, 2011 | Reply

    • That’s true, she’s their first exchange student.

      Thanks Reb!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  7. I think you’d be better off calling Caesar Malone, no doubt Puppy (being European) could relate easier to his funny accent and you’ll keep her off dog crack which I’m sure can get very expensive.

    Comment by Micky-T | June 6, 2011 | Reply

    • That’s true Micky. That man is a beast with beasts. It’s ok because she mostly gives doggy blow jobs to pay for it.

      Thanks Micky!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  8. I don’t blame Puppy for not wanting to be passed around like a slut. Have you tried any of that dog crack yourself?

    Comment by Gorilla Bananas | June 6, 2011 | Reply

    • That’s true, even the other, sluttier dogs weren’t all that cool with it. No but I should. It’s made out of oatmeal, ground beef and peanut butter.

      Thanks GB!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  9. Oh my, Puppy, what big ears you have! Puppy is just too adorable for words. Inflected or otherwise 😉

    Comment by nursemyra | June 6, 2011 | Reply

    • Puppy and I both appreciate your compliments. You should really come see ‘her’ soon.

      Thanks Nursemyra!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  10. I love this! And Puppy. He and Junior would be great friends.

    Comment by Pamela Villars | June 7, 2011 | Reply

    • I’m sure that they would. It would just take Puppy a little while to acclimate…

      It’s great to see you!

      Thanks Pamela!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  11. Ha ha, organisational skills of a pipe bomb.
    That sounds like me too

    Comment by Artswebshow | June 7, 2011 | Reply

    • It sounds like a lot of us, I think.

      Thanks Artswebshow!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 12, 2011 | Reply

  12. Three Dog Bakery has lots of doggy crack.

    Comment by Siren | June 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Cool. I’ll need directions.

      Thanks Siren!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 12, 2011 | Reply

  13. I wish I had a puppy…and that recipe for doggie crack.

    Comment by thoughtsappear | June 7, 2011 | Reply

    • The puppy is easy to get, the doggy crack is hard.

      Thanks Thoughtsappear!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 12, 2011 | Reply

  14. Haha! Keep these coming. Funny as hell.

    I forgot old Marge Schott. Was she a racist. “We need to sign more darky players! Those boys can run like the dickens!” Wasn’t that her quote? Something like that . . .

    Comment by Dr. Kenneth Noisewater | June 8, 2011 | Reply

    • Glad you enjoyed it, thanks!

      Marge Schott had an endless supply of cringe worthy quotes at the ready. The suppy only dried up when she finally did.

      Thanks Dr. Ken!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 12, 2011 | Reply

  15. I love Puppy’s giant ears! He has such a wonderful sense of whimsy about him – plus I can only imagine the shit he hears

    organizational skills of a pipe bomb killed me, one of your shinier gems in a bracelet full of gems

    Comment by dianne | June 12, 2011 | Reply

    • Puppy is actually a ‘she’ but don’t feel bad. I constantly call my male dachshund a girl, puppy a boy and my male cat a pussy. Animal gender is hard!

      Thanks Dianne!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 13, 2011 | Reply

  16. I was wondering where my comment went but then I remembered I was going to post a video clip on Barbara Woodhouse (a really friggin scary dog trainer of the 1970-80’s) and so went in search of it on Youtube. The bastards had removed it and then I go sidetracked and forgot to post a comment. Do they happen to have classes for dumbassed bloggers? Pass me the hip flask 😦

    Comment by frigginloon | June 14, 2011 | Reply

    • I’ve never heard of her, I’ll have to check her out. The way you describe it, she sounds like Caesar Milan if he were an angry woman which is pretty much nothing like Caesar Milan. There weren’t any comments in my spam queue?

      Thanks Loon!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 17, 2011 | Reply

  17. Okay Scott, you know I love you right? I think you’re a brilliant writer and youre wittier than hell. I so enjoy all of your posts and I truly mean that. So at the risk of ticking you off I’m going to hip you to something that’s been bothering me about your posts.

    Just when I get into your writings, you eventually throw in some remark of “special ed”, “short bus”, “retard” etc.. then for me, it all goes to shit. In those cases, I simply choose not to reaad further. You’re a fantastic writer man!! Your posts and subject matter are brilliant and it’s just not necessary in my opinion. In fact, for me it actually takes a lotg away from the post. I mean, it’s too easy to go there. People don’t choose to be disabled like someone chooses to have a dorky haircut or to act like an ass. consider this, it’s like calling a black guy a n****. I mean, why go there in the first place? I guess I just don’t understand why it is necessary to overuse such terms. Not that you overuse them all in one post, but it is a common thing in your writing. I find myself wondering, “So when is it coming?” ….Then BAM, there it is again!…. Of course I dont expect you to change what you think is working for you and your writing. I am simply giving you my lowly opinion as a long-time devoted reader of your blog. ((hugs))?

    Comment by Lynn | June 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi!
      I couldn’t help notice your comment. While in general I think holding up people who are challenged to ridicule is bad, I personally don’t think this is the case here. The dog was treated as a ‘special’ student, so that is how Scott chronicled it.

      People who meet me often think I’m mentally challenged, no joke, so I often throw out the R word on my blog too for comical pursuits. I don;t think Scott overuses it. Just me though.

      Reasons people think I’m a tard:

      My voice is a little girl’s voice though I’m 33.
      In ways I’m child-like and in others I’m an old woman.
      I don’t look people in the eye because I’m shy.
      I have OCD, so I often do things differently and I’m a self-described “mental midget.”
      Kind regards,

      Comment by Lisa | June 17, 2011 | Reply

      • Oh and if you watch real closely I walk a bit funny, shortened heel chords. This should be on match.com

        Comment by Lisa | June 17, 2011 | Reply

        • Oh oh oh please go on Match.com! Please!

          Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 17, 2011 | Reply

      • You got nothing on me babes, seriously!

        Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 17, 2011 | Reply

      • Yeah well, you lost me at the word “tard”.

        Comment by Lynn | June 18, 2011 | Reply

    • I do totally get where you’re coming from Lynn. I understand why these terms are misconstrued and taken offence to. I understand where they can be hurtful. That being said, I never use those words to apply to anyone who is actually physically or developmentally handicapped. It just means something else entirelly to me. A few years ago I was part of a blog campaign to give the word ‘retarded’ to comedians, forever taking it from bigots. I would never call someone who is down syndrome, retarded, even jokingly. But I would and do call myself retarded at least once a day. I know that you can not know my intent but in my opinion it makes all the difference in the world. These words and notions are part of the lens in which I interpret the world into a funny place. I am admittedly immature.

      All that being said, I will take into account your critique because I respect you as a friend and a writer. If you say that you see it in almost every post then I am using it way too much. I shouldn’t use any shtick anywhere near that often.

      Seriously Lynn, I do apologize if it offends you. I wish that I could express my thoughts on this more clearly but I can’t seem to come close today. The best I can say is that picture that you associate those labels to and the picture that I do are polar opposites.

      Thanks for the comment and the honesty. Hugs (and wet kisses too)!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 17, 2011 | Reply

      • Scott, I appreciate your reply. Btw, that kiss was awesome!

        Comment by Lynn | June 18, 2011 | Reply

        • I thought so too! I’ma have to find a missletoe…

          Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 18, 2011 | Reply

  18. She’s so adorable! Those ears are as big as the rest of her.
    I love how you only like the black guy, caucasions being dull. Your description is funny and real at the same time.

    Comment by Lisa | June 17, 2011 | Reply

    • I like some caucasions too, but they have to be interesting.

      Where the hell have you been? Did you hear my tone? I had a tone.

      Thanks Lisa!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 17, 2011 | Reply

      • I’ve been neglecting everyone of late. I feel very bad about it, will do much better from now on. Loot of things going on, but in a good way. I’d nevver stop reading your blog. You are my hero! Don’t be thinking I bailed like those guys in that entry you wrote several months ago. i will tweet, FB this post too. It hasn’t been just you.

        i haven’t even been on FB too much, but I heart you. Don’t be sore at me. I did comment on last week’s post didn’t I? I read it i know, but I hope i didnt get called away and forgot.

        Comment by Lisa | June 17, 2011 | Reply

        • Oh don’t worry about it darling, I was just kidding with you. I’ve been neglecting everything and everyone lately as well but that’s mostly because of a debilitating drug addiction.

          What do you have cooking?

          Comment by Scott Oglesby | June 18, 2011 | Reply

  19. Much love, bloggy man!

    Comment by Lisa | June 19, 2011 | Reply

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