Friday, January 21, 2011

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Almost Perfect

By Fred
Cheryl and I were watching a TV show called Community last night, and it introduced a new character who is supposed to be the "perfect guy." Like all perfect guys, his purpose in life is mostly to annoy other guys. This guy happens to be a doctor, good-looking (with big hair, of course), young, good-natured, etc. We see him first as he enters a classroom with a big smile. And what is the first thing out of his mouth?
Sorry I'm late. I train seeing-eye dogs and today was graduation day. I couldn't leave before shaking each one of their little paws.
And all of the girls in class said "Ahhhh".

Interesting that some television writers got together and decided that being a guide-dog trainer was the ultimate perfect thing to be.

A picture of Berkeley asleep during my meetingCoincidentally I took Berkeley to work with me yesterday. I almost always work from home but once or twice a year I venture out to see a client. And even before seeing the show, I realised that taking Berkeley with me to see the client, while a good experience for her, might also help put me in a more favorable light and help gloss over the various defects in my character and appearance. Being a consultant is often like being an unloved and unwanted step-child, so I need all the help I can get.

But I had a full agenda: 4 meetings back-to-back, 6 hours total, plus a 90-minute drive both ways. I wasn't sure how Berkeley would do. When she's at school with Cheryl, she's often on the move and surrounded by kids. The corporate world is not so much fun.

For 4 hours she was perfect. We took a tour of the facility, and I might as well have been walking with the Queen of England, with adoring fans on all sides. Amazing. But in the afternoon session, someone asked a question that required me to leave Berkeley for a minute. So I tied her leash to the conference table and walked away. She let out one little whine, then another, then another, each one louder. No! I said firmly. A woman in the room said, with a little girl sad voice, "Oh, come on, she's been so good all day." So Berkeley escalated to a bark. All eyes were on me.

Knowing Berkeley, and knowing how Cheryl has been struggling with this same problem at school, I realized that she would not back down. I knew that she would bark for the next 10 days straight if necessary, 24 hours a day, until I gave in and walked back to her. So I did. I gave her a little correction (very little), and then took her back with me.

Except for this one incident (something we'll be working on at home) she was just perfect.

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