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Sarah Maxwell

Pup and circumstance

You know those moments, the ones when everything seems to finally pay off, where the world comes into alignment, and everything you’ve worked for ... everything you have struggled to achieve ... finally comes to fruition.

The moments you normally feel so overwhelmed by your accomplishment, and you are thankful for those challenges which were placed in your way.

The moments when the world stops turning just for a second, as if it is acknowledging the strife you’ve endured.

These moments have included my senior dance recital; shaking my principal’s hand at my high school graduation; walking across the stage at Carver Hawkeye Arena a semester early for my college graduation; getting my first job post-college and subsequently getting my second job after the first job left town; and settling down with the Mister.

For the most part, all of my experiences have come from a first person perspective.

Now, we’ve all experienced these moments at some point in time or another. I’ve been a part of the occasional experience — my brother’s wedding, my niece’s birth, Mister’s graduation. But finally I got to be an active participant in someone else’s moment, more importantly I got to experience it from a parent’s perspective.

Nile, my 8-month-old Australian shepherd, graduated his beginner puppy obedience class after many weeks of solid studying and hard work.

He worked so hard for six whole weeks. He has conquered the sit, down and stay commands. He has finally begun to grasp the “leave it” and “come” commands and walking nicely on a leash. Well as long as he sees you have a treat in your hand to reward him with.

Yes, after six long, arduous weeks my puppy passed his class. I tried to tell him congratulations, but he didn’t quite get it. He just wanted another rub on his belly and treat for being a good boy.

His classmates graduated as well. However I have to say I think my boy grasped his commands a little bit better, but that’s just being a parent, right? You’re supposed to brag about a child’s accomplishments, right?

So after a parade around the store, meeting others and sitting pretty, the culmination of six weeks of hard work was about to pay off. It had come time for his graduation. He was the last one in the class to complete his commencement. He sat, held still, took a picture and received his certificate of completion. And what is a graduation without a mortar board? Nothing, that’s what!

So what do you do after a six-week course? Typically, you take a little break, relax, forget what you just learned and enjoy not being in school. Nile just continued to play all afternoon. He must have enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment his graduation brought him. Now he is a big boy ready to take on the world.

It’s too bad I haven’t had the heart to tell him he gets to go back for the intermediate class right away. Oh well, I guess it’s true what they say. You never stop learning.

BCR Copy Editor Sarah Maxwell can be reached at smaxwell@bcrnews.com.