Sunday, June 20, 2010

Training Dogs and Little Brothers (Meet the Kivans)…Part I

In honor of Father’s Day, tonight we have a blog written by Mr. H.  (Thanks Dad!)

One of the recent blogs and accompanying pictures of my younger brothers prompted a harsh comment from me about what terrors they were growing up.  Lest everyone think I am a bit harsh, let me explain.

Growing up on a farm it must have been an unwritten rule that every kid have a dog or little brother to train.  I guess I drew the short straw because I had both.  One dog—two little brothers.  The brothers were a couple of years apart in age, the youngest ten years younger than me.  Since Mother always insisted on burr haircuts they looked a lot alike.  In keeping with Mother’s strange sense of humor they also had rhyming names.  One began with a K and the other I.  My Grandfather had trouble telling them apart so he just blended the two names together and called them both Kivan.  I think he thought that when you had to yell at them there was no need to use both names since they were both in trouble anyway.

Training dogs was easy.  They eventually grew out of the puppy stage and quit destroying your stuff.  Not so with the Kivans.  As they got bigger they just tore up bigger stuff.  For example,  why would anyone feel the need to take a perfectly good mouth blown predator call, purchased with the proceeds of digging post holes at 10 cents per hole, and fill it with sand?  Why would anyone take an 1865 silver dollar out of a display holder and purchase drinks and popcorn at the concession stands in the high school gym?  The list could go on for days but you get the point. 

Dog training has gotten easier because now shock collars are used to hasten and improve upon the training.  I have one for my bird dog but use it rarely and just for those occasions when she is out of the range of my voice.  It is set on a very mild setting just to remind her I am in control.   I consider anything else a bit cruel.  However, had they invented shock collars when I was a kid, I would have gone broke buying bigger and more potent batteries for the collars, turned the intensity setting to “fry” and used them on the Kivans, not the dog.  I guess it would just have been too expensive anyway, because both Mom and Dad would have needed a controller.  My younger sister, who is a bit older than the Kivans, would have needed a super duty one since one of their main sources of entertainment was tormenting her.  Now that I think of it, I see all kinds of problems.  I think when she started dating she would have wired their collars directly to about 240 volts.

Even without the shock collars I did my best at training the Kivans.  I had the most success in teaching them to shoot and hunt.  They were naturals at that and I must admit to having many fond memories of hunting with them.  Mom and Dad were thankful for my efforts since it did the one thing most important for them - keep the Kivans out of the house as much as possible. 

(Part II coming soon…)

--Guest blog by Mr. H


dad said...

The horses name is Prince. He was a shetland and just a colt when the picture was taken. He eventually got big enough where I could ride him. Dad kept him as a stallion but he eventually got so mean we had to sell him. The last straw was when he reared up and fell over backwards on me in the labor day parade right in the middle of main street. I learned to hate that horse.

Dad said...

I showed the picture to some co-workers. They said even the horse was skinny. They all, horse and Kivans, had plenty to eat. With all the energy expended in tearing stuff up they had no time to gain weight. From the looks on their faces you can tell they are between episodes. Probably just finished destroying an anvil and scheming about what was next.

Carlene Hill said...

You can just see it in their eyes.

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