training day muses

Dog training reflections
  • Forgive your dog for mistakes. He’s not trying to be stubborn, he just doesn’t know what you want. 
  • It’s never the dog’s fault. If you didn’t proof a behavior in every setting under the sun and every circumstance, that’s your problem.
  • Sometimes your command will fail. This includes recall. Sometimes something happens that you didn’t anticipate. Even the 99.9% accurate command can fail - expect the unexpected
  • You accidentally reinforce behaviors all the time. 
  • You also accidentally teach “cues” all the time. 
  • Keep your sessions short.
  • Never train in a bad mood. You’ll be no fun, you’ll get frustrated, and you’ll set both you and your dog back.
  • Low expectations, high rewards. You’ll get further with small steps and big rewards.
  • If you don’t want the dog to have it, don’t leave it where the dog can get it.
  • Pay attention to your dog.
  • Listen to your dog.
  • It’s okay if he doesn’t get it immediately. It’s okay if he takes longer to learn something basic that someone else’s dog learned in five seconds flat. Dogs are like people: they learn differently.
  • Be kind, be respectful, and be understanding.
  • Explain, don’t expect.
  • Be the teacher you would want, instead of the one you can’t wait to get away from.
Cantankerous

(also on ao3)

Mike, in Levi’s experience, was not a difficult person to deal with.

In fact, Levi would say he was too obliging. Always ‘yes, sir’ and ‘of course, sir’ and volunteering to train with the new recruits.

But this.

“No.”

This was something new.

“It’ll make your throat feel better,” Levi reasoned.

Mike groaned and turned over in the bed, threw his blanket over his face.

“Mike.”

He curled into a ball.

“Sit up and drink the damn tea.”

Mike sneezed, the covers he was buried under puffing up briefly before settling back around his form.

Mike.”

“Go away,” came his muffled response. Then he sniffed. And sneezed again.

Levi sneered. “Fine.”

He slammed the tray he was holding onto the nightstand and stomped out of the room. Levi shut the door with a bang and stood there seething a few moments, talked himself out of going back in and dumping the scalding liquid on the stubborn bastard.

But just barely.

He sighed, or more likely growled if the way the cadet that was passing through started running down the hall was any indication, before going to find Erwin.

“I see it went well,” Erwin said when Levi came into his office.

Levi closed his door much like he did Mike’s and threw himself on the couch in front of Erwin’s desk, arms crossed over his chest, scowl on his face.

“He’s irritating and useless and disgusting.”

Erwin sighed. “Mike always gets like this when he’s sick, which thankfully is a rare thing. I think the last time was in our training days,” he mused. “Anyway, I was hoping you’d be able to help since the two of you…you both are…”

“We fuck.”

“I was trying to put it a bit more delicately, but yes.”

Almost everyone in the Corps had someone they screwed around with so Levi didn’t see the point of being polite.

“Well,” Erwin continued, “thank you for trying. I’m sure he’ll recover in a few days.”

That was what Erwin said, but the end of the week came and Mike still wasn’t better.

Maybe it was because Levi was used to getting boned every other day, but he missed the giant lug. So after morning training he went to the kitchens and got more tea - which he was going to get down Mike’s throat this time, one way or the other - and then took it up to Mike’s room.

He didn’t bother knocking, ready to wake Mike up and drag him out of bed if need be. But, to his surprise, Mike was already sitting up when he entered. A vast improvement on the last time Levi saw him.

Levi came forward wordlessly and sat on the edge of the bed, poured him tea, which Mike took without complaint this time.

“Thanks,” Mike mumbled once he had finished the whole cup, voice rough.

Levi shrugged, took the cup back and put it on the nightstand. He stared at Mike a few moments before reaching forward and putting his hand on Mike’s forehead. It was clammy and gross, but he kept it there as he said

“You’re hot as a fresh pile of shit. And you look like one, too.”

Mike wheezed out a laugh, then he grabbed Levi’s hand, brought it down to his cheek and nuzzled Levi’s palm.

“Stay with me?”

Levi stiffened. He had never stayed in Mike’s room before. They fucked, sometimes more than once, but Levi always went back to his own bed when they were done. It was an arrangement they both silently agreed upon. What good was a relationship that was anything more than pure physical satisfaction, especially in their line of work?

But this.

“Please?”

This was something new.