Trying too hard


I have a dog at home and it’s impossible to teach him anything. He gets giddy when you pay attention to him. If you try to praise him or start training him, he gets so excited that he can’t focus.

You can try to get him to settle down enough to listen to what you’re saying, but you can see that he’s barely containing himself. All he wants to do is wiggle and bark and shout from the mountaintops that you’re happy about something he’s doing. It causes him so much joy that he could burst into song at any moment.

Later it becomes clear that he has no memory at all of anything you tried to teach him. He was way too happy and excited to pay attention to what you had to say. Next time you try to train him it’s the same cycle all over again.

It’s hard to be frustrated when he’s acting like the happiest dog who ever lived.

“What a derpy animal,” I say, and smile. Then I get back to practicing my speech. Well, sort of practicing. See, I really want it to go well, and I’m feeling nervous. Frankly, I can barely focus. I keep doing two minutes of practice and then taking stress breaks to check my email, get some water, read a book, organize my desk, write a blog post or mindlessly surf the internet. When I get back to it I’m so distracted I have to start over again.

Come to think of it, this might be a good time to get the dog to work on Roll Over. I think we were almost there last time.