Am I a Failure

I stand in front of the automatic sliding doors nervously waiting for them to open. I run back and forth because I can’t find the entrance. I am so excited. I am going to the only store that allows me to enter. My feet are sliding all over the freshly mopped linoleum floor. Where’s the snack aisle? That is my favorite. My feet are moving as fast as they can. I am going nowhere. Oh, I forgot. I am attached to a leash.

A middle-aged lady with a blue apron approaches me.

“Hi, are you Chloe?” she asks

How does she know my name? I look at her with my big brown eyes and wiggle my little butt.

Her apron has the name “Petco” printed on the left -hand side.

She leads me to a large blue enclosure at the entrance of the store. I am not alone. There is another dog sitting with its owner. He is bigger than me. I try to be brave. The lady is talking to Carol, my owner. She is going over the commands that I must master. I am here to take the Canine Good Citizenship test. I have been practicing at home for almost one month. Mom didn’t think it was necessary to sign up for the classes. She knows I am naturally smart and always obey the rules. She just gets annoyed when I whine.

Sit. Sit. Stay. Stay. Come. Good Chloe. I practiced these commands every day. I feel ready. I can do this.

The nice lady gives me the commands. “Sit Chloe”. I sit. She makes a checkmark on her clipboard. She leads me around the enclosure. “Sit”. She walks away. She turns around and says “come”. I come. She makes another checkmark. Mom and I go out of the enclosure. We go down my favorite aisle. The snack aisle. I smell the food. That is a bad checkmark. We get to the end and Mom tells me to “stay”. I like mom. I do what she tells me. I sit. Mom turns her back on me and walks to the end of the aisle. I don’t like it when she does that. I am scared she will leave me. I sit and wait. The lady says I must wait for two minutes. I can’t wait any longer. I run after Carol. Another checkmark in the no pass column. We try it once more. No, I can’t do it.

We return to the blue enclosure. The lady gives Mom the bad news. I didn’t pass the Canine Good Citizenship test. I feel bad. Mom reaches down and pats my head. Is she disappointed in me? Am I a failure?

We walk out. I jump in the car. Sit in my seat. I didn’t get any treats. I lay my head down on the seat. We drive home. Mom stops the car. Wait this is not home. I jump out. Mom attaches my leash. We walk a few feet. Yes, we are at the ice cream shop. I am so happy. Mom only lets me have vanilla. I have the best mom. Thanks, Mom. I lick the ice cream off the spoon. Mom tells me I am the best. I feel so good inside.

I am not a failure. Mom loves me!


Am I a Failure


I am a retired ESL teacher. I have a dog that owns me. I travel to learn about a culture. I want to share my stories with you. Come along with me!

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