It has been just over a month since I got Cookie, my dog, from a Tennessee rescue organization for golden retrievers. Cookie is just over a year old and very puppy-ish in her behavior. Peeing at times out of both joy and anxiety is normal I am told, but she also has a crippling fear of cars and especially trucks and emergency vehicles. This fear has become somewhat problematic as it looks half the time like I am dragging her to lethal injection when trying to get her to the park. At this point when she even sees the leash she runs to her bed. In the grand scheme of things she is a good dog and it could be a lot worse considering she was found abandoned in a Kentucky trailer park (an almost guaranteed path to doggy stripping), but the time has come to get serious about this her training and mental well being, despite the increased forearm strength I am gaining from pulling her around the East 50s. But instead of going with some amateur dog training entrepreneur who will simply try to give her treats to induce good behavior (she is so scared outside that she won’t even take a treat) I am going to elite trainers who have made heroes and champions over the last few decades. So here are the finalists to train Cookie and their pitch to win over Cookie – feel free to vote in the comments section below:
1) Tony “Duke” Evers – The man trained two heavyweight champions – Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa. Proved to be a voice of reason when Apollo was not taking Rocky seriously and provided emotion and passion when Rocky needed it. His advice to Cookie: “NOW THIS IS IT! I NEED YOU TO WALK TO THE PARK!! ALL YOUR LOVE, ALL YOUR PEE, ALL YOUR POOP! EVERYTHING YOU GOT!”
2) Mr. Miyagi – Turned a lanky wuss into a local Karate champion, so given Cookie’s fears this may be a good approach for her. Plus he works for bonsai trees, so he is in my income bracket. His advice to Cookie: “Car-uh no-uh hit-uh you. Sniff-uh the pavement-uh. No look-uh at-uh truck.”
3) The Janitor in Rudy – A man who has seen hard times and has regrets may be a good trainer for her since he may see the possibility of redemption in Cookie. His motivation for Cookie: “You’re 3 foot nothing, 40 and nothing, you don’t have a spec of courage in you. But you are the dog of J-L Cauvin and in this life you don’t have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself (forceful, proud clap).”
4) Johnny from Dirty Dancing – A man with great physical abilities and a history of getting young girls to do what he wants may be the right combination for Cookie to respond to. He was able to teach Baby to dance well despite a nose so large that it threw off her balance so maybe he can give Cookie more physical confidence. Johnny’s advice, however, was to fu*k Cookie, which I am pretty sure is not legal.
5) Coach Cuzo from Best of the Best – he is fat and it is hard to believe he ever competed in kickboxing, but his Darth Vader-esque voice was enough to coach and inspire the US kickboxing team. His advice to Cookie in a baritone of confidence: “Walk.”
6) Rocky Balboa – a champion and a trainer to up and coming fighter Adonis Creed (who for some dumb reason goes by “Donnie” instead of Adonis), but his greatest work was turning an HIV positive hillbilly with a mullet into a heavyweight champion. His advice for Cookie was: “You know, like, you think that these like trucks are your enemy, but you maybe have, like a different enemy, like maybe, it’s you that’s your biggest enemy – ALRIGGHT COOOOKAY!”
7) Full Metal Jacket Drill Sergeant – my preferred choice because other than Cookie’s adorable face she really could use the Private Pyle treatment. And since Cookie cannot fire a rifle this would be a much safer training environment for the drill sergeant. His technique for Cookie is as follows: “Holy sh*t Corporal Cookie – you look like every mutt had its way with you in Kentucky. You are scared of trucks you fu*king moron, but you should have been worried about that train that every mangy mutt ran on you in your hometown. You disgust me – DID I SAY YOU COULD LICK YOUR ASS?!”