Tyler waited impatiently as Rusty had coffee, read email, took a
||Tyler had to wait and wait every
Sometimes he licked Rusty's bare toes to get him to move into
||Then Tyler put on his harness, leash,
while watching Rusty fuddle about getting water, his MP3 player,
sunglasses. It required the tolerance of a saint to wait for his
master to get on the scooter and just go!
||Rusty stopped to take a photo
Even Tyler admitted it was very pretty with the leaves changing
color, the sky dark & moody before a rain storm. So he forgave Rusty
the photo op.
||Soon enough Rusty stopped to make Tyler
do more stupid training stuff. "Come, Tyler" he'd say in his most
||Tyler humored him by running like a
great grinning idiot.
||The trainer, Donna, wanted them to
practice with distractions. To Rusty that meant in the middle of a
street dodging cars.
Tyler thought it was fun.
||When Tyler got bored Rusty let him play
Tyler liked to bust gophers.
||Tyler was becoming a teenager. He
weighed 82 pounds at 8 months of age.
Tyler trots 5 miles to the Oakdale Feed Store
||First he took a poop right past the
dairy farm. After smelling all that cow poop Tyler had to add some
of his own.
||Soon enough Rusty was back to training.
They practiced with distractions such as freight trains roaring past
||Tyler broke out of the "Sit."
"Clang-clang-clang!" warning the crossing
gates. "ARF! Train!" warned Tyler.
The crossing gate flashed and began to close! Rusty put on the lens
cap and moved the scooter.
They stayed inside the closing gates —there was not a car in
sight. As the giant Southern Pacific Diesel raced at them Rusty
waved like a child.
The engineer in the front of the engine looked through his
windscreen in horror at the boy and his dog. Rusty noticed the man's
mouth drop open —he realized the train operator thought Tyler would
bolt forward dragging Rusty & the scooter into the path of the
Instead Rusty slapped Tyler's shoulder saying "With me! Good with
me!" as he fed his shepherd a hot dog chunk reward.
The train screamed past just 15 feet from their scooter.
Rusty & Tyler did a 180 degree turn to drive away past a gauntlet of
steers immediately past the railroad crossing. As they traveled by
steers chased them on both sides of the narrow road.
A half mile later they stopped to hug & kiss each other.
"Good boy! Tyler you were a good dog!" and the young GSD beamed
with pride as he licked Rusty's face.
Why Tyler's trainer, Donna Soderstrom, is the best dog trainer
• Because she provides lots of structure —with excellent written
• She is kind & gentle. Donna taught the "Reward based approach"
to dog training.
Here is an illustration
One day an elderly man saw Tyler trotting down a back road with
Rusty & the scooter. 20 minutes later they met up in the produce
section of Main Street Market. George Field, the retired almond
farmer, pulled out his wallet to hand $20 to Rusty -- "Buy
something nice for the dog."
Tyler insisted they go immediately to Petfart to spend the $20
windfall. While choosing a bone from the vast display of bones there
was dog training underway nearby. "STOP! STOP! NO!" was
shouted from the training area. Rusty saw a red clad female stomping
about with black leather knee boots & spike heals. She was the
trainer. Her fierce boots clicked and snapped.
"Nazi" flashed through his human brain while Tyler eagerly sniffed
the bone section. "SIT! SSSSSIIIIITTTT!!" she commanded in a
stern, loud tone. Rusty cringed.
Tyler looked up at Rusty as Rusty looked back at him. "Hear that
Tyler? Aren't you glad we go to class with Donna Soderstrom and not
that Nazi b#$%@" Tyler nodded, then nudged to indicate his
choice of the largest bone on the rack.
"That is way too big for you!" Rusty declared as he selected
the next smaller size bone Tyler could actually carry in his mouth.
The rest of the money went to having his toe nails trimmed.
More adventures of Tyler the Wonder Dog...