Puppy Training, Time Rifts & Genealogy

Last night was lesson 1 of Puppy Training, where we learned that pup was to be taught socially acceptable behaviour using treats and was not being taught to understand commands, as other trainer’s do. The first task was getting pup to make eye contact with us using the word ‘look’, which sounds a lot like a command to me. Anyway, once pup has made eye contact he gets a treat. The issue here is pup is well aware there are more treats, so he’s not going to continue sitting and making eye contact when there are a shitload of treats to be had and seven other dogs in the group. Instead he took to running excitedly around our legs, still attached to his harness and lead, barking madly, like there was a cat in the field, demanding more treats. Which of course he did not get.

Any chance of him paying any attention to us, the trainers or anything other than the other dogs was just not going to happen. Too much to see, sniff, bark at and eat, with regards all the lushly green grass the field was covered in. His attention span was nil. He sniffed the tiny King Charles spaniel next to him, who cowered and moved around behind his owner’s legs and cowered and hid behind Bear’s legs when the Bernese Mountain puppy lolloped over to growl and bark at him in greeting. It’s funny how he becomes all scared and submissive when a dog the same size as him and just as belligerent wants to play with him, but doesn’t understand why the tinier puppies whimper and cry and try to hide from him when he wants to play with them. His lack of socialisation is clearly visible.

On the plus side, he’s starting to enjoy the car rides now that he sits on the back seat (with me) and can have the window open to look out of. He ends up sitting on my lap, with his paws up on the window edge and his head and shoulders out of the window while I hang on to the handle on the back of his harness and loop the lead around my arm. He likes the smells and feel of the wind in his fur as we do 90 kph up the dual carriageway. He doesn’t drool very much at all and the stress yawning has stopped. Still not a fan of actually getting into the car, but once in he’s good.

I’ve noticed recently that there is a huge time difference in the time it takes Bear to get to work and the time it takes him to get home. When he goes to work, he leaves 15 minutes before his shift starts which is ample time to drive the 9 minutes it takes to get to work. When he finishes work, he doesn’t arrive home for more than 30 minutes after the end of his shift, sometimes more than an hour. Every time I’ve asked what time he finished work, he tells me ‘the normal time’… so somewhere between him finishing his shift and leaving work, and arriving home there is some kind of temporal rift in the space continuum that hasn’t yet been discovered by Elon Musk, NASA or the crazy sci-fi geek fan-boys, which is of some concern.

Time rifts in space are a dangerous thing when in the wrong hands and Bear’s hands are not the safest for spacial anomalies, especially as he barely pays attention to anything that’s not Twitter related. Aliens will get no joy from him when it comes to being taken to our planetary leaders. Unless they have an address that he can find on Google maps. Talking of aliens, I was contacted by a second cousin in New Zealand on Monday. She’s been delving into our ancestral history and found my name all over our family genealogy on however many sites she dared set foot, so decided to make contact. It seems her knowledge of our family is decidedly sketchy, lucky woman, and she was interested in the rest of the clan and the many offspring that she knows nothing about having immigrated with her parents in the mid-1950’s to Australia, and on to New Zealand.

I, in turn, don’t know a hell of a lot about her family after her parents divorce in the early 1970’s. I have only the information my grandfather provided up to 2007, when there were a few offspring from his sister’s son and a second marriage, but no names, dates, locations etc… and genealogy sites for recent Australian/NZ BMD data are dire. I managed to find my second cousin’s stepfather only by birth date… there is nothing after that. I’ve been looking for help with the brick wall I already have to try and climb over with my own great grandfather on my mother’s side. My mother’s parents were first cousins and as such were disowned by both families when they married. My grandfather’s parents were not married, although his mother used his father’s surname.

His father used so many names that no-one has a clue which name was real, as there are no birth records, marital records or death records for any of the names he is known to have used. So, he is basically non-existent legally. He was charged in 1932 of a road traffic offence but no record is now available. He is on the 1939 directory, but under a name that has already been confirmed to be fake. There is no-one left alive who might know something about him. His last three children were registered by their mother, who used a different maiden name. Trying to find even a crack in that wall is impossible, but I’m still working at it.

claytoonz

Nationally Syndicated Editorial Cartoonist

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