Daisy Duke goes to school

Joe Avento • Nov 11, 2018 at 4:17 PM

The adventures of Daisy Duke continue, and now our rambunctious bloodhound is going to school.

So far she’s been a good student, mostly because she has a couple of good teachers.

When Daisy Duke reached her first birthday, we decided she needed a little schooling.

As anybody who has followed her exploits knows, she is wild, fun and active. Even though she’s a sweetheart and extremely playful, she has a motor that won’t stop. Sometimes, catching her is like trying to catch the wind.

She’s been digging so much in the backyard that we finally have a full golf course, 18 holes. That might sound funny, but it doesn’t get that many laughs when I mention it at home.

Learning a few manners was in order, so it was decided that Daisy Duke needed the kind of training we can’t provide. We needed to hire the professionals.

A friend had mentioned a place called GymDog. James and Kat Manning, a husband-and-wife team, are training dogs in their location on West Main Street in Johnson City and we decided to give them a shout.

Kat has been training dogs since she was a kid. When she and James graduated from Milligan College, they wanted to start a business, so they used her skill to get started. GymDog has been going since 2015.

Daisy Duke began school possessing a few skills.

She shakes hands with either paw, and as we previously documented, she rings a bell when she has to go outside. We knew there was a brain in there somewhere behind that overactive nose. After all, that knot on top of a bloodhound’s head is lovingly called a “knowledge bump.”

Daisy Duke has only been to two classes, but based on what we have seen, our expectations have grown immensely.

During her first class — the first 30-minute session is free — Daisy Duke learned she could be rewarded for doing certain things. They were simple chores, just calming down, staying still and making eye contact with Kat. Our dog was learning the words “yes” and “no,” and it wasn’t the kind of “no” she was used to hearing from us.

During Daisy Duke’s second session, James had her stepping onto a platform, one paw at first. It was teaching her to go to a certain place.

It didn’t take long for her to be stepping up with all four paws. It was fun to watch.

We hadn’t been able to get her to sit on command, and when James asked us about this, he sprung into action. He looked into her eyes until she made eye contact. She immediately sat. To prove it wasn’t a fluke, he did it again. And again.

We were sold.

Our dog is now a GymDog.

Sure, it’s been only two weeks, and Daisy Duke has only learned a couple of things, but as the weekly sessions continue, we can’t wait to see how James and Kat will help her become the best hound she can be.

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