Monday, September 28, 2009

Training, Part 3

"No doubt you all have questions," the woman said to us. With this, our puppy Bingo began to pull on his leash, struggling to move closer and get a better look. "Easy, easy", we said to him.

"To start with," she continued with no hint of apology, "we obviously are not in Orlando." A young man approached her from the side and gently touched her shoulder to capture her attention and then whisper something into her ear.

For several weeks we had known that Bingo was not a normal dog. He was delivered to us by my old handler, and at the time I thought it was an elaborate gag--my friend showed up at our house with books and computers and high tech equipment and a thick instructions manual, all for this small puppy. Right. Except by the age of 3 (months) Bingo was studying mathematics, astronomy and computer science. He understood several languages and had a fondness for foreign movies. And I am pretty sure (though my old friend failed to mention it) that Bingo is equipped with more than a few non-biological features. Such as: he can take a video with his eyes and transmit it to the home server (though no one suspects yet that I know this).

But despite all his intelligence and gadgetry, Bingo is mostly a normal Lab puppy, a wiggling source of endless energy, overwhelmed by an passion for squeaky toys, ice cubes, old shoes, food and any opportunity to play and have fun. For example, when he came to a problem in his calculus book that he couldn't solve, he ripped out the page and ran around with it (until we said Drop-It). And good thing they brought him a slobber-proof laptop.

A few more people, some in uniforms, joined the whispered conversation at the front of the room while the puppies and their humans grew more restless. Cheryl was working up a serious snit fit, wondering now if she would be back in time for school. And from the look on one officer's face, I feared that I might never work on a project again...

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