are lucky indeed to have me reporting regularly on MY
Adventures and so I wanted to let you know that Claude
Barbet is going to go to school?? (Oh God)
I admit this is not the local primary school with all
those mini peeps, non, this school is a special school
for my speciality? Imagine the scene?? (Wait for it) Oversized
uniform (he’ll grow into it) small gun bag, er…sorry,
satchel and a cute lunch box. Oh bless – how sweet
But non, none of that…….
see peeps I am a gun dog. A bit obvious I admit but the
intention going forward is not to waste MY unique talents?
non, not my rather egotistical talents but that of the
water dog. The Spins do it on the land and from time to
time may flail about in the water!! But Claude is a water
specialist and it is that that I am going to school for,
I of course can be a land gun dog, yes of course I can
and probably will be just to make a change for me!! And
Dearest One has arranged for me to have private lessons
and with her I am not going to waste the opportunity of
adding to my already bursting ego. Of course I will be
good at it provided the training is as good as my natural
instincts are. When I am fully qualified with an honours
degree (2:1) – don’t want to show off, I will
be taken out on sporting days and my qualifications put
to good use in the field – or more precisely the
water. Either way I am going to work for a living!!! You
lot have to so why shouldn’t I?
would be easy for me to become a pet – a fluffy
pet!!! Oh perish the thought……….
with my ego and whether I’m to be a pet or a working
dog the two most important factors for my owner to have
is in giving me direction and guidance from a good consistent
master, I need a pack leader otherwise the ego takes over
and I become a bit of a pain in the derriere. With all
this brain and being left to my own devices even I think
it best to take me to school and get me to do what it
says on the tin?? (What)
thing is I get bored easily unless I’m motivated
to work, there is some hidden ‘thing’ in me
that says ‘this is fun and I could really enjoy
it’ and I suppose that’s the reason for the
training. To keep me out of mischief and make good use
of my skills. I get restless and the Spins are no help
whatsoever, except leading me astray and teaching me all
the wrong things.
mean on the beach (see MY adventures) for example I had
to catch my own supper. A crab, but before that those
Italians had me bringing back bits of wood, seaweed, a
small rock. Useless and completely inedible – I
tried – and then cursed my own stupid ego for even
you see peeps, I need stimulating the proper way and do
something I just feel is right for me.
as noted earlier – with a little guidance and direction
I could be all things to all peeps!!
the vet?? Remember THAT Duck?…….well, if I
can’t have that one then I’ll have to go out
and get one of my own won’t I?
so it is that I have started my classes.
Dearest One has arranged to take me out to a very big
pond – a lake, where I am with some others at school
who are learning the same things as me. Of course they
won’t be as good, or even as good looking as me
and it’s obvious they won’t finish top of
the class and get gold stars for good work. But at least
they can try. Personally I’m doing it for three
To make the Spins jealous
2. To wind up the Spins
3. And three……I’m in competition with
competition you ask? Well a couple of them are going training
this is going to be interesting!!
on……get it?? Game on?? Clever eh
School grounds are not near our house and require me to
travel in the Subaru with the Dearest One (she drives
as I don’t have my license yet) and it allows me
to relax for a while and get into ‘spot THAT duck’
a great place out in the middle of the back of beyond
with a nice big lake and lots of trees and bushes and
cover and so on. It is a nice location and away from the
distractions of those Italians. The area around the lake
is nice and has I suspect many things for me to test my
instincts with – but especially in the lake itself.
training is conducted by a qualified instructor and he
has lots of experience in his field er…and the water,
but I suspect he actually doesn’t teach from the
water. That would be silly. And from what I gather he
has conducted his teachings for a long time. However?
It is NOT just me being trained because as we are to be
a partnership, then The Dearest One has to also take the
same training as me with one exception??
won’t jump in the lake and flush the wild fowl out
of the reeds like I have to – or at least I think
for the where and who that’s about it.
after all this is a school and I have some class mates
here. From what I’ve seen of them none are as gorgeous
as me and equally very unfrench!! But there is one who
could be a bit of competition for me? And unfortunately
it’s English!! An English Springer to be exact and
like me he’s a puppy as well. Now I live with two
English Springers, both called Max with one being retired
and the other who’s a pet – and as mad as
a March Hare (it says here)
so the scene is set…….France V England for
the ultimate prizes…….?
Gorgeousness……he can forget that one
• French……he can forget that one as
• Being top of the class……nah….forget
• Getting into the novice class with me…..nah……this
is getting boring
have all been put into the puppy class. And our teacher
takes the register and we all have to bark once to register
that we are in class – including The Dearest One
which is a bit embarrassing really because her bark is
more of a whimper!!
we all perform well (which is not a problem for me) then
we will all move up to the novice class. I doubt the Springer
will make it!! And even if he does then it will be me
that’s chosen as the prefect of the class. I know
the Springer well, especially living with them, and it
would be competition (a miracle even) if they had a brain
cell. Que ce cera!!
I do have just one minor setback to all this?? “Oh
Claude, surely not” “well yes, but it is only
one and a minor one at that” – “I can
be a little stubborn at times” “Obstinate
no, stubborn yes”
the first lesson was for The Dearest One…..’Be
consistent’, ‘NO MEANS NO’ and ‘he
should do as he is told’
really…….we shall see won’t we”?
it works on The Banker”!!
the puppy class we have seven subjects to study and peeps
we get homework. Now no one ‘Dearest One’
told me we had ‘homework’. Homes for fun,
not homework. We’ll see about that later on.
on hang on, what if that Springer practices at home??
– homework it is………..
Oh oui – the lessons, forgot where I was then…..too
there’s walk to heel, that’s easy and already
doing that – France 1: England 0
in and out of a line of dogs – oh God that’s
so easy. I live with those Italians so walking in out
and away from them I’ve done from day one –
France 2: England 0
on the whistle – no you idiots not sitting ON the
whistle but if I hear one whistle I am to sit. But I always
seem to be in the mud and when I sit it sticks to my gorgeous
derriere and is so off putting. It’s difficult at
times to be at school and learning all this stuff and
keeping myself looking so gorgeous. France 2: England
1 (The Springer couldn’t care less how it looks)
Stay and recall – OK OK so I cheated. We’ve
been practicing this at home and although I’m a
little stubborn I have got the idea and its coming slowly…the
thinking that is. The recall isn’t coming slowly
as I run over, if you see what I mean. The Springer’s
hopeless, France 3: England 1
retrieve – easy. Could do this stood on my head
with a muddy derriere. And do as well just to show off.
I am just so good – show me the Novice class and
I’ll show you the prefects badge. But the Springer
does the same but without the muddy derriere……..damn
France 3: England 2
ball retrieve – now I can do this with ease as it’s
almost the same as the dummy retrieve but for some unknown
reason I pick the tennis ball up very carefully. It feels
different – could be the fur and feather thing,
you know the distinction between the two sensations. Anyway
I do it OK but the pickup slows me down. Of course that
bloody Springer can do it damn him
France 3: England 3
what about The Dearest One I hear you ask, what’s
she doing and learning??
training – oh for God sake how difficult is it to
blow a whistle. Pathetic
this period of lessons is not all done at once of course
and we all have to take turns, in between waiting for
my turn to come around I am lay down next to The Dearest
One and I am watching everything and everyone like a hawk.
But as I am not allowed nor interested in retrieving one
of them I keep one eye on that lake for those ducks. And
trust me peeps I know they are there. I love this instinct
Dearest One has one bad habit that our teacher has to
train out of her? When we do sit and stay I actually understand
sit and stay. So on her command I more or less sit and
stay, depends on my mood and how I feel at the time and
the drying mud on my derriere is a distraction. But for
some unknown reason after she’s told me to sit and
stay and I AM sitting and staying, she then puts her hand
up to me and holds it there.
bark at her and tell her “I am sitting and staying,
what’s wrong with you? Put your hand down or else
I’m going to keep shouting at you” “I’m
French and Gorgeous and getting more and more intelligent
and don’t need two commands for the same thing”
– what can you do”?
it’s clear she has no hope of moving up to the novice
class with me if she has to take whistle training lessons
and gives two commands for the same thing. I should be
training her. That teacher’s got this all the wrong
way round…….I hope she learns quickly otherwise
I will be going up a class without her and that would
be so embarrassing.
at the end of the day we all have to learn and whilst
I do all this and more of it instinctively it seems to
me that the owners should be trained to bring the best
out in our instincts…….
press: I have just been told that the training is for
the owners and not for us. The owners have to ensure they
understand that we have the instinct and they are being
trained to make the most of what we have. Well, glad we’ve
that mean I’m driving home…..??
OK then I’ll get in the back shall I?
so on the night we finish at France 3 and England 3 with
The Dearest One not scoring at all.
to worry peeps I will make sure she does her homework
for the next lesson!!
it for this introduction – or should that be intro
care and au revoir for now