Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Couper Goes To Kindergarten - Week 6

Sometimes people ask me, "How is Couper doing with his training?" My first instinct is to say, "Aren't you reading the Poop?" (this is what insiders now call this website). There are few things on the planet as well documented as Couper and his training. However, I generally give an overview of how he is doing, re-tell some of the "jokes" (They aren't reading it anyhow. To them it is as if I am coming up with all new comedy on the spot. So what if the line I just "thought up" went through seven re-writes the week before), and politely refer to the blog. This week it became apparent that there are two important people who are not reading the blog, or at least are not paying attention to the recurring theme.

Let's see if any of this sounds familiar:

As we walked into the Petsmart last Saturday for week 6 of Kindergarten, Couper was pulling on his leash and barking at everyone/everything. As we were supposed to be loose-leash walking, we had to stop every two steps to rein him back in. As we got in the store, he continued pulling on his leash and barking at the cashiers and customers.

I more or less have written the same paragraph every week. If it were a better or memorable paragraph, I could sue myself for plagiarism. However, that would require getting two lawyers, and that sounds expensive and annoying.

Let's continue our week 6 story.

Halfway between the cashiers and the classroom, we had to stop to try to calm Couper down. As Couper would not pay attention to us or even sit (remember, he "knows how to sit now"), we decided to get out the jar of Pupperoni to entice him. One look at the jar of yummies, and Couper was a new dog. He sat. He walked along side us. He did not bark at anybody.

At that moment, it kind of hit us. He needs the lure of yummies to be a good boy. Is this a new concept? Lord no. I write about that every week as well. So who isn't reading the blog? I guess Big Buddy and Couper's Mommy aren't.

We vowed next week to start with yummies in the parking lot. Hopefully next week, I can write a new opening paragraph.

I spent the better portion of last week's entry writing about attendance awards and plotting Couper's path to academic glory through attrition. Well, forget about the second part. The German Sheppard was back and the Affenpinscher was gone. Our chance to be Valedictorian is about done. However, we really do like having the German Sheppard in class with us. We get to learn what works with other dogs and try to apply it to ours. And the German Sheppard is having control problems walking into class as well. So with competition comes better learning. However, we do still want that Attendance Award. Badly.

For the record, Ms. Puppyteacher was there too. This week's first lesson was about combining loose-leash walking with other commands - in this case, sitting. We were to walk around the store and have our dog sit when we came to the end of an aisle. Hopefully the dog will learn to naturally sit when we stop on a walk. As we had yummies in our hand for this exercise, Couper did great. He even once actually sat on his own as we stopped. As Couper excelled in this exercise, Couper's Mommy commented, "He sure has been good in class lately." His Big Buddy commented, "What the hell am I going to write about in the blog when he is doing so good???"

Fortunately for blogging, there was a second lesson this week, meeting strangers. This exercise involved a stranger coming up to Couper, having him sit and then rewarding him. For the stranger, Ms. Puppyteacher volunteered a Petsmart clerk. At least we knew that the "stranger" was getting paid for this. I was not sure if the store clerks get medical insurance.

Amazingly, as the clerk approached Couper, he was calm. More amazingly, when asked to sit (using AKC approved hand signals), he sat. Couper's Mommy and I were shocked. He always is aggressive when new people approach. This was a minor miracle. The clerk then took the next logical step, pat the cute puppy on the head. Couper was not as OK with this. He nearly took her hand off. I guess that was pushing it a little too far. When asked if she would try this again, she politely declined. I guess they do not get health insurance.

As both Couper and the German Sheppard were having issues with coming into the store and
dealing with people, Ms. Puppyteacher suggested that we come into the store on off days to help acclimate our dogs to people and the surroundings. I guess having her say this in week 6 made me a little less cynical than had she said this in week 1. I understand that we cannot take our dogs into Neiman Marcus and have him adapt to people and surroundings (unless the dog fits in a hand bag, that somehow makes it OK). However, could we not go to the park, or on walks, or even Petco? Do we really have to go all the way to Petsmart? Should we pick something up while we are there?

Our homework for the week, besides shopping at Petsmart, is to get our dogs to politely "greet" other people. We can do this with people we know or with strangers. Being new to town, we do not know that many people. Based on what we saw earlier in the day, we are not sure that having them greet Couper is the best way to introduce ourselves. "Can you help us with our homework, all you have to do is pet our puppy...he hasn't successfully bitten anybody so far". It would be a lot easier to ask of neighbors if we lived near Ray J. Johnson, or Ray J. Johnson impersonators. (Maybe we do, who knows).

More importantly, the lesson for the week is to carry yummies wherever we go. Even if Couper is not around. Just in case. Kind of like the Sienfeld where Jerry puts the mutton in his jacket ("What exactly is mutton?" "I don't know and I don't want to find out") and Elaine - without knowing there is mutton in the pockets - borrows the jacket and dogs follow her everywhere. Maybe we can at least make dog friends in the neighborhood.

Maybe the most important lesson for the week is to read our own blog, so we don't keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Perhaps we will delegate that task to Couper.

Side Note: Last week I mentioned that we had 20 people over for Thanksgiving. How did Couper do? Great (there goes the comedy). He had met all the guests previously, so there were no surprises from either him or the guests. Once he gets over people coming in his house, he is interested in one thing only - playing. And play he did. For reasons unknown, we have an artificial turf putting green in our back yard. Well, that isn't entirely true. A known reason is that it came with the house. We are not really golfers, but we thought it would be a fun place for
Couper to run around. It turns out that he loves golf. When somebody tries to putt, he swoops in and intercepts the ball. He has great recovery time, because when you think he is out of the way, and you attempt another putt, he swoops in and steals that one too. With 20 people, including actual golfers and kids, at the house, the green was in use most of the time. Couper was non-stop in getting in on the fun. For the most part, people thought this was fun. However, Couper's eight year old human niece kept trying to get him inside away from the green. I guess he was ruining the integrity of the game. As I was in charge of the dog, I did get him inside a couple of times, only to have him run out and back into the game whenever somebody opened the screen door. I can only do so much. I was in charge of the football games on TV as well. At the end of the day, the humans who did cooking and organizing (not me) were exhausted, but nobody was more exhausted than Couper. After six straight hours of playing, he was a lump of puppy passed out on the floor.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from Couper's Poop!!!

From everyone at Couper's Poop, have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Please remember this important Thanksgiving safety tip:

This week it is crucial that you do not let you dachshund (or any little buddy) dress up as or act like a turkey!

Couper Goes To Kindergarten - Week 5

I could start out with some of the same old things this week that I have detailed in previous weeks. Yes, Couper got out of bed lazily with his Big Buddy. No, he did not eat breakfast (however he did not throw up like last week). Yes, he barked on the way to the Petsmart. Yes, he was a pain in the hiney on the way in, barking at everybody and pulling on his leash. However, this week was different. This week was the best week of Kindergarten ever!!!

First, Ms. Puppyteacher was back. This is not to imply that Ms. Puppysub was bad or a problem. It is just that puppies need consistency. More importantly, Big Buddies and Mommies need consistency. The last two weeks have been confusing. Explaining what we have and have not gone over (or more importantly, remembered that we have gone over) and varying philosophies of teaching/training have been dizzying. Hopefully we will just be able to focus on the course from here on out.

Secondly, the Affenpinscher was back and the German Sheppard was absent. This in no way means that we like the Affenpinscher better than the German Sheppard. Nor does it mean that we like the Afenpinscher’s owners better than the German Sheppard’s owner. Nope, this is all about grades, awards, and graduation.

Couper is the only dog to attend all the classes. Since we are not planning on being absent in the future, we should be graded at the top of the curve on attendance. In addition, we should be in line for a Perfect Attendance award. No one has actually said that there is a Perfect Attendance award, but after five grueling weeks, I need incentive to get up early on Saturday mornings. Plus, since nobody has mentioned a Perfect Attendance award, I can only imagine that the award is pretty darn good. Like a box of biscuits or a new car or something. How do I come to this conclusion? Well, if they told you there was an award, everybody would show up every week to get the award. By not telling us there is an award, they assume people will have no incentive to show up every week. Therefore, they can get super-valuable prizes that they figure that they will never have to give out. They did not figure on the Couper family being way ahead of their little game. (I should win an award for such thinking. Since there is no known award for thinking, the prize must be awesome...).

With the Affenpincher’s reemergence, Couper is no longer at the bottom of the class. To be honest, Couper had no chance competing with the German Sheppard. The German Sheppard sits, and lies down, and is calm, and comes, and stays, and drops, and leaves, and does not have to be sprayed five times a class. Couper has no chance against all that. With two puppies in the class, Couper and the German Sheppard, Couper is at the bottom of his class, and probably won’t graduate. However, the Affenpincher can’t even sit if she wanted to, she is too little and fragile. And she doesn’t want to anyway. With her back in the class, Couper is at least in the middle of the class curve (puppy classes are graded on a curve, right? Don’t puppy teachers have to pass at least half their students to keep their certification?). So, it has never looked better for Couper to actually pass this thing! If the German Sheppard has dropped out, Couper is class Valedictorian. Who had that in their office pool five weeks ago?

Side Note: Last week I worried about the Affenpincher’s future as a Kindergarten drop-out. I apologize for jumping to conclusions. However, if my rant (can one sentence be a rant?) can get one puppy back into one Kindergarten, I think it is all worth it.

Week five of Kindergarten was review week. With the German Sheppard out and the Affenpincher way behind, Couper got almost all of the attention. Couper was great. Maybe it was because he loves attention. Maybe it was because we met Ms. Puppyteacher in an aisle before class and he got reacquainted with her. Maybe it was because he did not eat breakfast and would do anything for some food. For the record, we are going with all the homework and training from his Big Buddy and Mommy. We are going to pretend that the great behavior did not shock us. We knew it was there all along (newcomers, please do not read previous blog entries, just take my word for it).

The same teacher who in week one told us “Couper does not understand ‘sit’” told us this week, “Couper no longer needs a treat for sitting. He has that one down.” She taught him to stay by having him sit, then walking with a yummy, to his side and towards his hiney. He stayed. On each side. It was amazing. He came when called. He left things when told. Half way through Couper’s Mommy said to me, “Did we bring our dog?” When he got feisty, he always gets feisty at some point, Ms. Puppyteacher picked him up and held him. She held him for about five minutes. He squirmed at the beginning and a few times in between, but for the most part, he was relaxed and gave puppy kisses. My homework is to pick him up and hold him for 30 minutes a day. This is supposed to show that I am in charge and help him understand that he should pay attention to me every once in a while. At least until he gouges my spleen with his little but strong legs.

At the end of the class, Ms. Puppyteacher asked if we wanted to extend the class a week, because of the absences. We will officially vote next week, but essentially agreed. Had we been thinking, we should have asked for the final right there and then. He would have gotten Valedictorian, we would have gotten our Perfect Attendance award, and we all would have gotten to sleep in next week.

After class, we decided that Couper was so good we should reward him by buying the salmon yummies that we had eyed two weeks ago, but refused to buy because he was a pain in the class. As we went down the yummy aisle, he thanked us back by pooping on the floor.

All in all, this was by far the best week yet. If he keeps this up, I am proudly wearing my “I Love My Weiner” shirt to graduation.

(Administrative Note: With this week being Thanksgiving, and with us having 20 (yes, 20) people over for Thanksgiving, and with last week’s class being a review week, there will likely be no Week 5 Homework entry this week. If Couper does something fun with 20 people over, I may make an entry. Or I may spend the rest of the week wondering why we had 20 people over to begin with).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Couper Goes to Kindergarten - Homework Week 4

As we were doing homework this week, Couper continued a trend that has been driving me insane since we started this Kindergarten stuff. He listens to Couper’s Mommy, but only occasionally listens to his Big Buddy. He may not always do what Couper’s Mommy tells him, but he does at least give a glance before deciding that whatever he was doing is just fine, thank you. When Big Buddy barks a command (barks, get it?), Couper usually just goes about his business. As we are only supposed to call a command or his name once, that leaves me the options of whistling, or snapping my fingers, or stomping my foot. I look like the stereotyped construction worker when a hot babe walks by (Did this ever really happen? Did it ever actually work? Can it still happen now with harassment lawsuits? This has a Dateline NBC investigation written all over it).

I am glad that Couper listens to his Mommy; at least he is getting something from this class. However, I get very frustrated when he does not listen to me. A big part of the frustration comes from not knowing why he listens to me sometimes and not others. Is it the pitch of my voice? What he is doing at the moment? Where I am relative to him? What’s on TV (“What was Big Buddy saying??? I was paying attention to the latest about Brad and Angelina on ‘Extra’. I sure hope they adopt again. Why is Big Buddy whistling and stomping his foot? Does he need to go potty??? Does he think Angelina is hot??? Hey, there’s a Mr. Hiney!!! I should put it behind the stereo! That would be fun… ”)? So at least once a homework session I have a pity party. “Couper, you always listen to your mommy and never to me. You don’t like your Big Buddy anymore. I quit.”

This week, Couper’s Mommy finally had enough. She sat me down and spelled the situation out for me. It went something like this:
"Look, this is new for Couper. He is not used to hearing commands from you. You and he are playing buddies. You have taught him plenty. Think of all the games you two have made up. He is used to me giving him commands. I have been doing it since I got him. It is just going to take more practice coming from you."
It was well thought out, polite, and to the point. It should have been. She had four weeks to practice it. Couper’s Mommy has always been, well, the mommy. Big Buddy has always been, well, the buddy. And you thought these names were just noms de plume for this blog.

Couper has the good fortune of being the first dog I have ever had. How we got Couper, and why I never had a dog before him, is for future posts (like I have this all planned out or something). For the purposes of this post, let’s just say that I have always loved dogs and we lucked into the best dog in the whole wide world (I know what you are thinking, “Who is this pompous jerk who says his dog is the best in the whole wide world. My dog is the best in the whole wide world!” Well, my claim is in writing on the internet. The same internet that brings you football scores and naked pictures of “High School Musical” starlets (no link, sorry. Find it yourself). Your claim is in your mind. The same mind you erode with a case and a half of beer each weekend and which last week said to you, “Let’s watch this repeat of ‘Charles in Charge’. How bad could it be?” I rest my case).

If not the best in the whole wide world, Couper at the very least is a heck of a lot of fun. Couper loves to play and I am almost always happy to oblige him. Even when I am lying on the sofa half asleep, if he sticks a Mr. Hiney in my hand, I will throw it. Couper also loves attention and I have transferred my 38 years of not having a dog into attention to him. (Too bad he can’t read. He would love that he is getting 1000+ words written about him twice a week. To him writing this blog is just something that Big Buddy does between throwing a Mr. Hiney.) Couper’s Mommy calls us “two peas in a pod”. I hate peas. I had epic arguments over peas when I was a child. I refuse to eat peas as an adult. But she is absolutely right and I like when she says that.

So most of what I have taught him involves us playing. But just what have I taught him? And is any of it helping anything?

The first thing I did when I first met an 11 month old Couper four years ago was recoil at this cute little thing barking at me (hasn’t changed much, has he?). The second thing I did was get him a bowl of refrigerated RO water with ice cubes that he ignored. The third thing I did was go get a tennis ball to see if he would play. Third time’s a charm. I threw it, he chased it, and we became instant best buddies. He loved chasing the ball, but stunk at catching it. Yes, his mouth was a little too small for a tennis ball at that time, but his timing was all off and he was all over the place. Tens (hundreds?) of thousands of throws later, with various balls and toys, he has gotten really good at catching. Sometimes he makes really amazing catches. I wish catching were part of Kindergarten.

I think playing catch is good. It at least has bonded us and has led to other games (below). And so far, I have avoided arm surgery despite throwing more balls than Warren Spahn (You thought I might go blue there, didn’t you? Bad you!).

Not Bringing the Ball Back.
Couper has this strange habit of nudging around with the toy just thrown to him in the area where he catches up to it. He makes it look like he has no idea how to pick up the toy. I have this strange habit of being impatient and wanting to throw the toy again. Probably the fourth thing I did after meeting Couper was go retrieve the ball I threw. I quickly found out that he could not only pick up the ball, he could take off with it. So what he really wanted out of this situation was to play “Chase the Puppy”. Eventually he trained me to throw the ball, walk to where he and the ball were, and then either chase the puppy or pick up the ball and throw it again. Couper’s Mommy is fond of saying, “I remember when he used to bring the ball back, before you taught him this.” I don’t really remember him ever bringing it back, but I go along with it. I hope she doesn’t read this thing.

This is undoubtedly bad teaching. He is controlling me. However, maybe he wants to make sure that I get some exercise too.

This is a variation of playing catch, but instead of picking it up the ball and throwing it, I do a three point stance over the ball like a football center and long “snap” it back between my legs (like for a punt). Before I snap the ball, I say “3-46-3-46-hut-hut-hut”, as if I am calling a play. The original point of the game was he would stand in front of me until I snapped the ball, and I would pretend to block as he whizzed right by me.

As time went on, he would jump “offsides” as I went into my “3-46” call. I would then pretend to be a referee calling offsides, complete with hand signals and the announcement to the crowd, “Offsides defense. Number 3. Five yard penalty. First Down!” Couper’s Mommy would groan, but Couper would anxiously wait for me to go get him and the ball. Over time, Couper wouldn’t even wait for me to call “3-46” and upon my doing my center stance, run to the spot where I usually snapped the ball, even if my hiney was pointed in an entirely different direction (the ball follows the hiney).

I guess this is good teaching. He would do something based on either my bending over the ball or calling “3-46…”. If he jumped early, there was a penalty for offsides (bad actions have bad consequences – 5 yards in this case). I have not figured out if running to the usual spot is better or worse than understanding the ball goes where the butt points. (I would love to tell you that “3-46” was some famous play like the Packer Power Sweep, but it is just the first two numbers that popped into my mind. It sounds like a solid football play though, doesn’t it?)

Joe Namath wins the Super Bowl
This is roughly the same deal as “3-46” except:
  • I actually throw the ball overhand, like a football pass.
  • We have to use Couper’s tennis ball football.
  • In my “Howard Cosell for Puppies” voice, I yell, “Here goes Joe Namath to win the Super Bowl!”
Couper has learned to take off to the corner of the yard where the ball is thrown. The rule is if he catches the ball before it comes to a stop, he scores a touchdown and Joe Namath wins the Super Bowl. We have a big celebration. If it comes to a stop before he gets it, Joe Namath loses the Super Bowl. Both results are announced by “Howard Cosell for Puppies”.

A couple of things to note:
  • Yes, I did play this game in my parent’s back yard when I was 7 (without the puppy).
  • Yes, I am old enough to have seen Joe Namath win a Super Bowl (I was 3) and hear Howard Cosell call a game.
  • No, I never grew up.
  • My “Howard Cosell for Puppies” voice announces because a regular Howard Cosell voice might scare and confuse puppies. “Howard Cosell for Puppies” is essentially a cross between Howard Cosell and Mr. Rogers. Researchers at independent test labs worldwide have proven this combination of voices to be puppy friendly (please do not look this up).
I think this may be my best teaching game. Couper reacts to “Joe Namath to win the Super Bowl” by running to a selected spot. He learns a real life lesson about winning and losing. “Howard Cosell for Puppies” exults/ admonishes his win/loss; again, just like real life. Finally, he learns history; Joe Namath winning Super Bowl after Super Bowl (all on the last play) and Howard Cosell announcing them (please don’t look-up those “facts” either).

In our old house, on the patio, we had stucco columns. On these columns, there were rounded ledges (they probably have an architectural name, but I am too lazy to look it up). The ledges were just tall enough that Couper on his hind legs could reach them. We found that we could hide toys on these ledges and when Couper would find them, he would make sure to knock them down (example right with Mr. Hiney). We took this activity to the next level with the “Do-dee-do-dee-do” game.

The game plays as follows: I would pick up a toy and start walking around the columns. At the same time I would start whistling a “casual song”. The song made it seem like I wasn’t really doing anything special, just casually walking around, whistling, like usual (actual time I have spent walking around whistling outside of this game: 0 seconds). Couper would follow me, all the while looking up on the column ledges to see if I put the toy there. At some point I would leave the toy on the ledge, but continue the walking and whistling. Couper would have to keep looking until he found the toy. He got very good at this, again proving he is smarter than his Big Buddy.

Why is this called the “Do-dee-do-dee-do” game? It isn’t. It is called the {whistle the song} game, but I have no audio to insert for “{whistled song}”. It kind of sounds like “do-dee-do-dee-do” and I had to type something. The song is essentially lifted from a tune played constantly in the toy store FAO Schwartz (the toy store in “Big”). When you walk in, you hear a song that goes: “Welcome to our world, welcome to our world, welcome to our world of toys”. If you have been in an FAO Schwartz for more than six seconds, you know exactly what I am describing. If you worked in an FAO Schwartz, you are doing 20 to life for aggravated assault/murder because you heard that song over and over and over throughout your shift (Sorry for reminding you of it. Have some more therapy. Does the warden know you are on the internet???). “Welcome to our World” is to FAO Schwartz what “It’s a Small World” is to Disneyland (This should be an official SAT analogy). So what better song to incorporate into a game of hiding Couper’s toys?

This was a good teaching game as well, I think. I was in charge. He was following. I was whistling a song that leads to heinous felonies. Sounds like good clean fun to me.

Havlicek Stole the Ball
This game starts out with me dribbling a tennis ball while humming “Sweet Georgia Brown” of Harlem Globetrotters fame. There are no similarities between my dribbling and Curley Neal’s or between my song and the actual song. But to Couper, that doesn’t matter. He tries to steal the ball. When he does, we completely shift basketball gears. In my “Howard Cosell for Puppies” voice, I shout, “Havlicek stole the ball!!! Havlicek stole the ball!!!” (a reference to a 1965 playoff game that I probably missed because I was spitting up formula). When I say, “The’re gonna get Havlicek!!!”, a full-fledged Chase the Puppy game is on.

We are going to count this game as good too. I am marginally in charge while dribbling the ball. Couper knows to steal the ball. We all learn about the Globetrotters, the 1965 Celtics, and that Howard Cosell announced every significant sporting event of the 1960s. Even when he wasn’t there. Howard wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wee Wee Woo
This game was born of necessity during Super Bowl XXXIX. I kind of wanted to watch the game. Couper kind of wanted to play. Going outside to play was not going to happen. No TVs outside. Couper was deeply into his tennis ball football only phase. It was the only toy he would play with. Watching TV and blindly chucking that toy across the room, with its strange bounces, was asking for disaster. So I needed a game that was closely contained so that the fine china was safe (paper plates can be fine china, it is all relative).

Wee Wee Woo works as follows (Feel free to try this at home with your little buddy. If you don’t have a little buddy, get one. I’ll wait):
  • Sitting on a sofa, cross your feet. Keep the outside edge of both feet on the floor. Being left-handed, I cross my left foot in front of my right. (All game instructions from here on will assume that you are left-handed as well. If you are not, please become left-handed now. I’ll wait.)
  • Take the toy ( the tennis ball football really is the best for this game) in your left hand and set it on your left knee.
  • If you drop the ball to the right, down your left shin, yell “Wee”. Somewhere in this drop, Couper attempts to pounce on the ball. Usually while it is rolling down my leg, causing 12 pounds of force with claws to tear up my calf and/or foot.
  • If you drop the ball to the left, down to the floor, yell “Woo”. This side is usually less painful. Be careful if anybody is sitting on the sofa to your left.
  • Soon the little buddy will know the difference between “Wee” (attack your leg) and “Woo” (attack the person sitting to your left).
Amazingly, Couper took to this game. He brought the ball back every time for more. He was mesmerized by the ball sitting on my knee, trying to figure out if a “wee” or a “woo” was coming. So during important plays, it was OK to just leave the ball sitting there. In the end, I got to watch the Super Bowl (and many a sporting event since) and he got to play.

Summary: Educational: Yes. Human in charge: Yes. Painful: Yes. Bottom line: Good

So what have we learned?
  • I actually have had some good influence in teaching and leading Couper through playing. I somehow need to transfer this to our Kindergarten training.
  • I am using our dog as an excuse to play games I used to play in grade school.
  • Howard Cosell impressions (even puppy-modified) never get old. If Rich Little were still alive, he would be doing “Howard Cosell for Puppies” on the Mike Douglas Show.
  • Nothing significant in the world of sports has happened since 1970.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Couper Goes To Kindergarten - Week 4

The morning of Week 4 started out poorly. Nobody wanted to get up. Not even Couper. Sometimes when Couper does not want to get up, it is OK; he does like to cuddle in the mornings. Sometimes it is bad news. On Saturday, it was bad news. Within a half hour of finally getting out of bed, he threw up three times. Once outside. Once on the floor. Once on the carpet. The ralphing hat trick. If we weren’t afraid of him throwing up in the bed, we would have called in sick and gone back to sleep. The possibility of him throwing up in Petsmart was much less disgusting. So we went to Kindergarten as scheduled. As it turned out, he did not throw up again.

He was, however, not in a good mood. The walk in was the worst ever. We assumed we were supposed to be loose leash walking into the store again. We did not park as close to the store as last week. After getting out of the car and leashed up, we stopped about every two steps on our way to the crosswalk in front of the store. Remember last week at the crosswalk, where he was good and there was no car traffic? That was so last week. This week he was pulling and barking as a parade of cars went by in both directions. When finally a couple of cars stopped, letting us cross, we could not be bothered with loose leash nonsense. Couper pulled us right across, barking the whole way at the drivers who stopped. I think if we had practiced loose leash walking techniques and stopped, they would not have thought twice about running us over. By week 4 of this, shouldn't this be getting easier, not harder?

We had Ms. Puppysub again. Apparently Ms. Puppyteacher will be back next week. Ms. Puppysub was better this week about teaching the curriculum for the week, rather than dwelling on what we had not been taught. Maybe there was a sub plan. Also for the second week, it was just Couper and the German Sheppard. I guess the little dog has dropped out. We don’t mind, as Couper gets at least half the attention in class now. On the other hand you feel bad for the little dog. What kind of future can a Kindergarten drop-out have in this day and age?

This week we plowed ahead with more commands.

This one is a classic; the ultimate dog command. It is probably the key to the entire course. We don’t stand a chance.

At least twice now an instructor has said, “Don’t say stay unless you can release the dog. So don’t say stay when walking out the door to go to work, because the dog will eventually release itself and the command is lost.” This cracks me up every time. I imagine a dog sitting there for six hours, then saying, “screw it, this guy’s not coming back. I’m gonna rip up the couch”. I imagine Couper sitting there for six tenths of a second and thinking, “What does ‘stay’ mean? Hey, there’s a Mr. Hiney!!! I’m gonna go get it, put it somewhere unreachable, and then bark about it until my Big Buddy comes back.”

The classroom exercise involved having him sit with a yummy in hand (week 1 exercise that Couper has not mastered) and holding the yummy in front of him while saying “stay”. Couper is already good at sitting and staying for a yummy. Often he sits and stays when we don’t even know he deserves a yummy.

Couper’s Mommy: Couper is sitting on his yummy mat staring at me, did he go potty while you two were outside?
Big Buddy: Huh? I dunno. On internet. Uh, yeah, I'll have ranch dressing.
Couper’s Mommy: Fine. Here’s a yummy Little Bud.

When he gets the yummy, off he goes. If that was the point, we would be home free. It isn’t. And we are not yet at a full fledged "stay". At this point, we can only take a step back while he is waiting. If he ever gets good at it, we can increase distance and time. We will be sitting with a yummy in his face for a long while, I fear.

We are supposed to make “come” the better alternative to whatever he is doing. In this case, having a yummy is the alternative (What a surprise, right? Didn’t see that coming did you?). Also, we are to bring him in close to us and give him a big playful rub on the head and say, “yes!!!” Is this better than smelling poop? So far, not really. Let’s spell it out mathematically:

Big Buddy + Couper’s Mommy + yummy + head rub + “Yes!!!” < Smelling Poop

That is not a good equation if you are on the left side. If you are poop, you are feeling pretty good about yourself.

Since the German Sheppard already knew down, we got full attention for that command. Down is making the dog lie down by luring him to the ground with a yummy. This works great with a big dog like a German Sheppard that has to move his whole body towards the floor to follow the yummy. For our little wiener dog, following the yummy to the floor is a matter of dipping his head. Ms. Puppysub could not get 'down" to work with Couper. However, if we ever want him to bow his head in prayer, this could be the trick.

Each of the commands that we learn also have AKC approved hand signals. It isn’t bad enough to remember what to say, we have to remember how to gesture. I think more often than not, I wind up giving referee signals. He may not sit, but he might pace back 5 yards for illegal procedure.

Sit: Move hand from side, straight up 90 degrees. (Not pushing his hiney to the ground as I had been doing)
Stay: Arm out, hand pointed upward.
Come: Arm up in the air and hand in a moving into a fist. Couper may not come, but cabs keep stopping for me.
Down: Arm down with hand straight out.

Don’t quote these signals. I likely have them wrong. However, I have known since I was 4 that both hands on hips is “Offsides”.

The last thing we did was practice loose leash walking in the store. Our distractions this time? Customers, employees, and debris in the store. I got to wondering if being a dog training distraction is part of the Petsmart job description…

Interviewer: Your resume looks good. Can you stock shelves?
Interviewee: I sure can. I help my mom unload the groceries all the time and I make sure to stack the soup with the soup and the beans with the beans.
Interviewer: Excellent. How about pricing? Can you put stickers on things?
Interviewee: Can I ever. Man, one time in high school, I put Motley Crue stickers all over my geometry book. There were like so many, they wouldn’t even take it back.
Interviewer: Great. Now, our trainers have people who own behavior problem dogs walk their dogs around the store during peak hours. Can you stand there like a dweeb while you get barked at and potentially attacked?
Interviewee: Well, in 4th grade, I was an extra in a school production of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”. Stood right there on stage like a statue.
Interviewer: Outstanding. If you can clean up poop, you’ve got the job.
Interviewee: Well I have a little brother, and one time he, like, ate, like, 30 cans of beans and...

Amazingly, Couper was great during the around the store loose leash walking. He did not bark at employees. He did not bark at customers. He did not bark at dogs. Did not pull. Did not try to pick up toys or food. He has never been better. Ms. Puppysub was very impressed. We went back to the classroom, got our homework, and were dismissed from class. On the way out of the store, he barked at employees. He barked at customers. He barked at other dogs. He pulled the entire way. He went after store items. It was as if he knew he was no longer in class and could revert back to his usual self. The walk back to the car was almost as long as the walk back in.

We are now half way through our class. I think we are doing OK, but I was glad there was no midterm. I have a bad feeling there is going to be a final. At least we haven't been expelled. Or dropped out.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Couper Goes To Kindergarten - Homework Week 3

With all of Couper’s new commands from Kindergarten, we decided to try to figure out all the words he knows. If you consult dog books, they will tell you that dogs do not understand English (please do not actually consult dog books to verify or debunk this). I agree to a certain extent. If you put an infinite number of dachshunds at an infinite number of typewriters, none of them are going to write “Hamlet”. Not even with typos. I can put a copy of “A Tale of Two Cities” in front of Couper and he is more likely to chew it than read it. If I sit down with him and watch “Green Acres”, he may laugh at Mrs. Douglass’ hotcakes or Mr. Douglass’ broken-down tractor. However, unlike you or me, he will not fully understand the underlying sociological dynamics between Mr. and Mrs. Douglass, or Mr. Haney as the personification of post-war capitalism, or the allegorical use of Arnold the Pig as a Christ figure. He just thinks it's a silly sitcom. On the other hand, say, “Couper, nighty-night!”, and he knows immediately to run into the bedroom, jump in the bed, and take up as much bed space as a twelve pound dog possibly can.

So the following is a list (incomplete) of words that Couper knows. All words will follow this format:

Word as Couper knows it: (English translation as necessary) (Example as necessary) - Other blathering.

Mommy: (Couper’s Mommy) (Example: Couper’s Mommy comes home: “Couper, Is that your mommy???” wag wag wag ruff ruff ruff!!!)

Big Buddy: (Big Buddy) (Example: Big Buddy says something he thinks is clever. Couper’s Mommy says, “Couper, go bite your Big Buddy”. Couper does not bite, but does look at his Big Buddy like, "next time...".)

He knows both his parents by our handles. I have no idea if he knows us by our real names.

Gramma: (Gramma Buddy or Gramma Mommy) (Example: “Couper, your gramma is coming to visit) – We are not sure if he knows which gramma when we say gramma. Maybe he is expecting one and gets the other? Who knows. When I tell him that I am going to pick up Gramma Buddy, he gets excited thinking that we are both going. He does not understand "I" means me, not him. I guess pronouns are 1st grade. When I leave without him, I get in trouble.

Sammie: (Sammie - Couper's cousin) (Example: “Couper, where’s Sammie” – he will go find her) - Though officially not a person, she is probably the only dog he knows by name. I am not creating a category for just one entry.

He knows some other family members by name. To respect their dignity, I will not name them. With almost anybody though, we can say, “{whoever} is coming to visit you, Couper” and he does a big tail wag. The second they come to the door, they get immediately and aggressively barked at.

Sammie update: She is going home on Saturday. She has gotten brave in her last few days here. She takes Couper's toys while Couper and I are playing with them. We expect Couper to attack to get them back, but he generally just sits there and looks at Sammie, then at me, then at Sammie, then at me. I think he is saying, "Big Buddy! You think you're all in charge now, what with the Kindergarten and the 'Sit' and all that. Do something, would you!". I would, but I am too scared of Sammie. So, I find another toy. We're going to miss Sammie.

Yummy: (treat) (Example: “Thank you for pooping, Couper. Let’s go get a yummy” – he will
sprint to the door - no yummies for pooping inside - sit on his “yummy mat” in the kitchen, and wait for his treat).

Chicken: (Chicken Jerky treats) (Example: “Couper, come get your din-din. Big Buddy put some chicken in it”. – somehow, hearing this makes him 60% more likely to sprint in for dinner). Chicken is the yummiest of all yummies. At $25 a pound, it ought to be. I am not sure that I have ever eaten anything that cost $25/lb. Possibly never will. Even with rampant inflation. My dog does. Every day.

In the named yummy category, he also knows “ice cream” (freeze dried doggy ice cream – yes, there is such a thing) and he may also know “Liver Biscotti”, and “biscuit”. Not that those are his only yummies, not by a long shot, but those are favorites.

He has a rubber chicken toy that we also call Chicken (or sometimes Mr. Chicken). He
somehow distinguishes between the toy and the treat. Someday, I am going to apply for a $2.5M grant from the government to study this phenomena. Not solve it. Just take $2.5M to study it.

Din-din: (dinner) (Example: "Couper, din-din. Your mommy put chicken in it" - seems we have to do that a lot. He isn't spoiled or anything). - I am not sure if he understands breakfast. He is much more likely to skip breakfast than din-din. Maybe it is because we have not come up
with a baby-talk word for breakfast. break-break??? Maybe it is because I often sleep through his breakfast and have no idea what goes on at that time.

Cheese: (cheese - the dairy product). The yummiest of human yummies. In cheese is the only way that we can give him his Puppy Prozac. He hates Puppy Prozac. But, say "cheese" (not like the photographers want us to) and watch the tail go nuts.

Bodily Functions
Wee-Wee: (#1)

: (#2)

: (#1 and/or #2) – This one makes no sense, really, as he Poopies or wee wees outside (usually), not in an actual potty (never). But he goes along with it.

Get the Rock/Bush: (#1 on the selected item) ("Couper, get the rock") - It is amazing how well this works before we are going somewhere and want him to go wee-wee. On the other hand, we never say, "Couper, get the tire", and he goes wee-wee on our car tires in the same situation all the time. Looks like another $2.5M grant for Big Buddy.


Outside: Inside and outside are what you think they are.


: (Human bed or Couper's kennel) ("Couper, go to bed") He knows the difference in this one too. At night, or at human nap time, he goes to the human bed. When we are leaving to go out, he has been very good about going to his kennel. In exchange for the right yummy of course.

Nighty-night: (go to bed) ("Couper, mommy's tired. Let's go nighty-night") - One of Couper's favorites, because it ensures that he is going to the human bed and gets to cuddle. He also knows Nap in the same context.

Bath: (bath) ("Couper, you stink. Time for a bath") - At right, an actual picture of him the last time we said "Couper, want a bath". Other times, he hides under the bed. Obviously, baths are not one of his favorites. I guess when an event evokes those kind of reactions, even a dog remembers the name for it. If we ever need to have Couper lie down in Kindergarten, maybe we should use "Bath" instead of whatever word they teach us (that I won't remember anyhow).

Mr. Hiney: (A Cuz - pictured right) - I have lost count of how many of these and what colors
and varieties he has. Let's just say it is more than are pictured. It is his favorite toy because it is easy to catch, bounces funny, and squeaks. At least some squeak. Some have been squeaked out. Those are the ones we let him take nighty-night when we are thinking straight. It was named Mr. Hiney because it looks like a hiney with feet. Doesn't it?

Mr. Frisky: (Unexplainable squeaky toy). - This toy squeaks too
much and is never allowed in for nighty-night.

Ball: (Ball)

I am sure he knows more toy names (Quacky the Duck, Snappy the Turtle?), but we have time and space limitations. Someday, I should do a post on all his toys, past and present.


Go: (go) - I am not sure if he knows or cares what the context is. I think to him it just means there is movement, which to him is often good. When we "go" to the vet, it is good. When we get there, it is not.

Down:(get off that chair) - There are a couple of chairs in the house that he is not allowed on. Down actually works. I hope that gets taught in Kindergarten. Since he knows it, I am guessing it won't be.

Couper’s Names
Little Buddy, (Mommy’s lil’) Noop
Dog, Mr. Mischief, Mr. Curious, Mr. Silly, Couper Knute, … : (Couper) - He responds to all these. Just not when he is in Kindergarten.

That got to be a longer project than I had hoped for. I am sure there are many words that should be included that are not coming to mind. (Note that none of his Kindergarten commands are included. I don't think he knows them). I think I need my $2.5M government grant to continue.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Couper Goes To Kindergarten - Week 3

Just to calm everybody’s fears, the current writers strike will not affect Couper’s Poop. Neither Couper’s Mommy nor I get paid a cent for writing this blog. Critics and economists agree that is just about right (maybe even a bit over paid). So we will be here to provide quality dachshund blogging regardless of what those fat cats in Hollywood do. However, I do have lots of half written scripts for What’s Happenin’, Jake and the Fatman, BJ and the Bear, Chico and the Man, and After MASH. If any of those shows are still on the air, please have the producers contact me. I'm not afraid to cross the line.

As you will recall, we were very nervous about the walk into Petsmart. We were instructed to do loose leash walking into the classroom which is located in the middle of the store. As we approached the strip mall (it has a much nicer name that Couper’s Mommy knows, but I constantly forget), we decided to park a little closer than we usually do. In fact, I suggested that we make Petsmart a drive-thru. Kind of like senior citizens do every few months in Boca Raton or some such place. As always, Couper’s Mommy was the voice of reason. However, I suspect some of her opposition to the driver-thru idea was because she was driving her car. It was a good idea. In the end, we decided to park as close as we could without violating handicapped parking statutes.

As always, as we got out of the car, Couper barked and charged at anyone he could find. And maybe even a few people he couldn’t find. We only had to take a few steps, and make 6 stops to cease pulling, until we came to our biggest obstacle, the crosswalk. There were two ways to play this. The first was to keep the integrity of the loose leash walk and make on-coming cars wait for us, no matter how long it took. The second way was to violate the loose leash walking rules and lose a week of “training” by rushing across the street, Couper pulling us all the way. What happened? Well, I would love to tell you it was something dramatic, hilarious, and inspiring. But no. There were no cars in sight and Couper walked right beside me. Great for us then. Lousy material for the blog now. (We already used our stock photo of Couper crossing the street in last week's post, so for no reason whatsoever, here is an old picture of Couper with a rubber chicken. Rubber Chickens are never not funny).

Without walk-in drama, we were a bit early. We were wandering around as usual when one of the other trainers came up to us and told us that she would be subbing for Ms. Puppyteacher. We shall call her Ms. Puppysub. It became quickly obvious that Ms. Puppyteacher did not leave sub plans for Ms. Puppysub. For those of you not in the education game, sub plans are detailed instructions left by the regular teacher for the substitute teacher so that the class does not just screw around while the regular teacher is absent. And you thought that teachers just call in sick and head down to Trader Vic’s for Mai Tais. Wrong. They spend hours detailing every aspect of the class for the substitute. Then they call in sick and head down to Trader Vic’s for Mai Tais. The sub then ignores the sub plan and lets the class screw around all day.

Not to get into too much detail, but Ms. Puppysub kept bringing up things that she thought we should know. When she found out we did not know them, she got upset that those things were not taught in week one (maybe we forgot them, who knows). Her basic claim was that we could not do week three work without knowing these supposed week one things. This got very tiring very quickly. We finally more or less told her, “Just teach us something”. Although it is supposed to be a core curriculum, there could be different ways of teaching it. We got the feeling there is a little competitiveness (kind word) in the Puppy teaching world.

One thing that Ms. Puppysub found out early was that Couper did not like or respond well to spray bottle discipline. Ms. Puppysub was a better shot with the spray bottle than Ms. Puppyteacher. She actually got Couper a bit wet. Couper immediately went into attack mode. Ms. Puppysub quickly decided that spray bottles should never be used with Couper. I was a bit deflated, because I had hoped that Couper’s spray bottle aggressiveness towards the scatter-shooting Ms. Puppyteacher was because she was hitting me and Couper was defending me. It was obvious from this week, that he just does not like the spray bottle period. I didn’t catch every word, but later Couper’s Mommy told Couper that the spray bottle she had bought for home use would now only be used on Big Buddy. They both had a good laugh.

The bottom line for week three's lesson was we were taught three new commands: "wait-OK", "drop it", and "leave it".

“Wait” is what we are supposed to use to make sure that we go through doors first. “OK” is the release word. Although we know that we are supposed to go through doors before Couper, we often do not. We have many excuses reasons for this. The first is Couper usually wants to go first. He is in charge, not to mention quicker than us. He wants to get outside to play and poop. He wants to come in to get yummies. The second reason is to coax him in/out if he does not want to go in/out. Sometimes he just does not want playtime to end. And god forbid if it is cold out and we want his delicate hiney to go potty. So we walk behind him to make sure he actually goes out/in. The third scenario is he wants to come in, we want to go first, and we take the first step in. Usually there is a little brown flash through our feet beating us through the door. If you think that 12 pounds can’t take down 190 pounds, you are very wrong. As it turns out, Couper is not bad at this command. We kind of have to nudge him out of the way and/or point when we say “wait”, but that is legal and it usually works. However, if there is any one command that gets me hurt in this class, “wait” will be it. (For no reason, right is a picture of Couper with a toy that looks like a beer. Dogs and fake beers are never not funny).

“Drop it” was the toughest to teach. When we are in the class, everything revolves around yummies. Sometimes we think that Couper sees Kindergarten as some sort of yummy buffet. Just snacks and playing. Nothing like real Kindergarten. On Saturday, during “drop it” practice, he was so focused on getting yummies that he would not pick up anything to drop. Not toys, not bones, not rawhide, not tissues, nothing. He just followed us around the classroom looking for his next treat. We did not get much out of that one.

“Leave it” is a big one. It is to be used for something we don’t want him to pick up as well as for something we want him to ignore; other dogs on a walk for example. This was practiced by putting a biscuit on the floor and as he went for it, putting our foot over it and yelling “leave it!!!”. Couper paid attention to that. The toughest part of the exercise was not putting our foot down too hard and smashing the biscuit in a million pieces.

This is all good stuff. The only problem is that it doubles Couper’s command vocabulary. This may or may not be a problem for Couper (I am not entirely sure he knows any of the commands), but is a big problem for Big Buddy. Let’s review Couper’s commands to date:
  • Yes
  • Uh-uh (people still do not believe that is how the word is spelled. Everybody thinks there is an “n” in there someplace. Please click on the speaker off the link to hear an automated voice pronounce it. Couper's Mommy did when the original link was posted. About 35 times. Couper was so confused. He's thinking, "What did I do??? And who is this weird dude telling me I did something wrong???").
  • Sit
  • Wait
  • Drop it
  • Leave it
As we were walking out of the store, Couper acted up. It went a little something like this:
Couper: Ruff!!! Ruff!!!! Woof!!!! Woof!!! Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!!
Big Buddy: Wait! No, uh Drop it! No, uh, Stuff it!
Couper: (?) Arf Arf Arf!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Couper’s Mommy: Sit! No, uh Leave it!
Couper: (???) Ruff!!! Ruff!!! …

It is a couple of days later, and I am still hesitating on what command to use in a live situation. Maybe I need Kindergarten again. I’ll go as long as there is no sub.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Couper Goes To Kindergarten - Homework Week 2

This week's homework has involved sitting and loose-leash walking. Rather than detail how that is going (for the record, it could be going better), today we shall talk about the steps we have to go through to just do our homework.

For the last three weeks (and for the next week and a half) we have been taking care of Couper's cousin Sammie. Sammie's Mommy is Couper's Mommy's sister and is off touring Europe. Sammie is part pug and part something else; roughly she is the same size as Couper. Sammie is a rescue dog. Sammie's Mommy has no idea how old Sammie is, but we estimate it at over 100. Not 100 in dog years. 100 year years. 36500 days. As in: if she could talk, she could tell us about the Roosevelt Administration. The Teddy Roosevelt Administration. The Roosevelt with the big mustache.

We worried how Couper would do with Sammie in his territory, but he has mostly been fine. Sometimes he gets a little jealous if Sammie is getting some attention and will try to nose her out of our reach. Also, he has, for whatever reason, decided that he needs to sniff her butt at least 5 times a day. I can't imagine the smell changes much. Is he expecting it to smell better than the last time??? This is either the working definition of optimism or insanity. Maybe both.

Sammie has also been good for the most part. Being 100 years old, she is not nearly as interested in playing as Couper is. That's not to say that she does not want to be included. Every once in a while, she will pick up one of Couper's toys (not tough to find one lying around) and "run" around with it. Once or twice a day, she will get jealous at the attention Couper gets while playing and let him know about it. Usually though, she is pretty content to take naps.

However, one thing that we have discovered that Sammie likes as much as Couper is yummies. This is apparently a new development (Sorry Sammie's Mommy). Like Couper, she now demands them after going potty outside. Despite her supposed deafness, she will run to the door when she hears "all puppys inside for yummies!" Maybe she has selected deafness, like her Uncle Big Buddy.

Sammie having yummies is all well and good, except for one thing; Couper's homework is 100% based on him getting yummies for learning his behaviors. When Sammie is in the room, she wants to be included in this yummy fest as well. It is difficult enough to teach a 5 year old new tricks, we don't even want to try to teach a 100 year old. Sammie gets upset at not being included and generally disrupts the proceedings. And the proceedings aren't proceeding well enough without disruption right now.

So to work with Couper privately, we have to trick Sammie, rush Couper into a room, and quickly close the door behind us. It is not nice. We do not like doing it. But it is what has to happen. Sammie sits outside the door whining and sometimes scratching, but that is less distracting than her being in the room and trying to steal reward yummies from Couper. However, when our session is over, we open the door to give her a little yummy fest of her own.

When we do our loose-leash walk homework with Couper, Sammie has to stay 4-5 steps behind. Otherwise Couper will always charge forward to take the lead. That is the exact opposite of what loose-leash walking is all about. With Couper 5 paces ahead, it is as if Couper is the king and Sammie the loyal subject. If only Couper had a long purple robe that Sammie could help carry.

All that being said, we do like Sammie and she is welcome to stay with us anytime. Even when she is 150 years old. I am sure she already thought we are strange. By no fault of her own, she picked an even stranger time to come visit.

In the end, Sammie is helping us accomplish a goal. By proving that Couper can co-exist with another dog, and with his new training (please let him graduate! please!!), hopefully we can get him a little sister next summer. Couper's Mommy insists on a girl and naming her Godiva. Big Buddy insists on a dachshund (we cannot afford another breed of dog...imagine all the lab merchandise there is to buy). And maybe someday when we are in Kindergarten with Godiva (well before she is 5 years old), we will have to trick Couper and close the door on him so that we can do Godiva's homework.

Non-Kindergarten related Couper/Sammie note:
One thing that Sammie and Couper do together that we do like is what we shall call crossfire peeing. Sometimes when we take them out to go potty, they each will go to separate parts of the yard to pee. When done, they cross each other's paths and each pees where the other one just finished. First off, we like it because it ensures that they both go #1. More importantly, it is wildly entertaining. Well, at least more entertaining than NBC Fridays.

Tomorrow, our long walk from the parking lot to class...wish us luck.

Couper’s Poop Goes Public

Up until now, Couperspoop has been a private blog, reserved for friends and family of Couper. However, some of those friends and family have had trouble cracking the Google security. I will leave it between them and Google to figure out who is at fault. So, to allow this crucial information to get to its intended recipients, we are opening Couperspoop up to the public.

If you are the public, welcome! If you are a lawyer, sniffing out lawsuits for you clients, good luck. Blood from a stone and all that. If you are some other type of miscreant, go away.

As part of our grand opening, we are having an exciting promotion. Be one of the first ten people to comment on our site and win a free dinner from a participating restaurant in your area.

Here’s what you do. Add a comment to our site. Go to your local Sunday paper. In the coupon section look for a coupon from a participating restaurant in your area offering “buy one dinner, get one free”. Cut out that coupon. On the coupon, read and abide by the terms and conditions. Go to a participating restaurant in your area, present the coupon, and tell them that Couperspoop sent you. That’s it. You should get one meal of equal or lesser value free! Couldn’t be easier or more fun.

Contest Terms and Conditions:
  • Couperspoop is in no way affiliated with a restaurant in your area. It was just a coupon in the paper this week.
  • Couperspoop is not responsible for you not abiding by the coupon’s terms and conditions.
  • No purchase necessary. If you want to steal the Sunday paper from your neighbor or a newsstand, that is your business. Couperspoop is not responsible for your being a sociopath.
  • Couperspoop is not responsible if your free dinner stinks. Blame a restaurant in your area
If you are new to Couperspoop, please check out what we have done so far. In past posts we unequivocally solved the following problems: poverty, energy, and childhood diseases. Unfortunately we had to delete those posts to make room for a bunch of nonsense about our dog going to Kindergarten.