Jackson had lived in his house alone with his parents his entire life. Living there his entire life was an easy accomplishment for him because he was five-years-old. Living alone was not very easy even though he was a very smart boy and always found some way to keep himself entertained. Still, his parents did not want him to play by himself all the time.
During the spring, Jackson’s mom and dad took him to meet some puppies. They all went to the house of someone they did not know. He was nervous going into a stranger’s back yard, but the stranger allowed Jackson to play with his puppies for as long as he wanted to. There were five puppies. Out of the five, there was one that Jackson played with the most. It stayed with him when the other puppies left to do some other thing that captured their attention. He liked this puppy the best. When all of the puppies were tired and huddled up for a nap, Jackson and his parents left. Then, on one beautiful day in May, he and his parents went back to the stranger’s home and picked up the puppy that he had played with the longest.
Jackson thought the puppy was the cutest thing he had ever seen and the most fun thing he had ever played with. He wanted to play with the puppy a lot, but the puppy did not want to play all the time. Sometimes, it wanted to sleep. Other times, the puppy ran away and hid. When Jackson would find him and try to play with him, the puppy would mouth him.
Jackson felt he needed to teach the puppy some manners. He really wanted to be the one to train the puppy too. It was important to him to show his mom and dad that he could do it by himself. So, he took the puppy to the backyard and told him to sit. The puppy ran after a butterfly. He told the puppy to come to him, but the puppy sat on the ground and scratched its ear. He told the puppy to stay, but the puppy walked around sniffing the grass. The puppy did not listen. The puppy would not sit, the puppy would not come when called, and the puppy would definitely not stay. Jackson was very unhappy. He was used to being good at everything he tried, but he felt he was not a good trainer. He called himself stupid. He called himself a failure. Jackson cried and ran to his room.
Jackson’s mom found him crying. She patiently waited for him to stop, calm down, and tell her what was wrong. After he told her, she replied to him that he was not stupid: he had only never been taught how to train a dog. She told him that many adults did not know what to do and had to be taught too. His mom also told him that he did not fail until he stopped trying. She said that sometimes people need help. She said that trying harder sometimes means looking for help. Then, she said she would leave him alone and let him decide if he would continue to cry in his room or figure out how to train his puppy.
Jackson decided that he would learn how to train the puppy. He asked his mom and dad for a little help. So, his mom and dad signed him and the puppy up for a dog training class. While Jackson waited for the day of the first class to arrive, he watched puppy training videos online with his dad. He tried out some of the training techniques that he saw on his puppy. Some of them worked; but when they did not work, Jackson did not blame it on himself. The first day of class soon arrived and he and the puppy attended. They both learned a lot. After training and trying and learning together, Jackson and the puppy became best friends.