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Good Dog, Aggie: Aggie in Training

Ben can’t train his dog, but things get better when Mr. Thomas comes along.
Ben is determined to train his dog Aggie, but with squirrels racing and grasshoppers hopping, it's hard to get Aggie to pay attention. Luckily Ben ends up getting some help from his blind friend Mr. Thomas. Even though Mr. Thomas can’t see, he shows Ben a lot about being a dog owner. Aggie will learn how to listen . . . someday!
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I fill my pockets with treats. “We will work today,” I tell Aggie. “We will work on SIT and STAY.” “Sit, Aggie,” I say. Aggie sits. I give her a treat. “Stay,” I say. Aggie does not. She sees something. She sees something gray. “Ruff! Ruff!” Aggie runs fast. “Come back!” I say. The squirrel jumps into the tree. I take Aggie back into the yard. “Squirrels are not for you,” I say. I am ready to try again. “Sit,” I say. Aggie does not. She hears something. She hears something green. “Do not eat the grasshopper, Aggie.” Aggie sniffs. The grasshopper jumps. Aggie jumps, too! “Silly Aggie,” I say, “grasshoppers are not for you.” Training is hard work. I stop to scratch Aggie’s ears. “Come here, Ben!” Mr. Thomas calls. “Come let me see Aggie!” “Yes, sir,” I say. “But you cannot see Aggie. You cannot see.” “I see with my hands,” Mr. Thomas says. “Aggie is a fine dog! Soft coat, floppy ears...” Mr. Thomas laughs. “And of course, a long, wet tongue!” Mr. Thomas shows me how to hold the treat high so Aggie can’t take it. “Sit,” I say. Aggie sits. “Stay,” I say. Mr. Thomas holds Aggie while I back away. Then Mr. Thomas backs away, too. Aggie stays. She sniffs. She smells something. Aggie smells something orange. “Ruff! Ruff!” Aggie runs and runs. “Oh, Aggie, not again!” I say. “Hissssss!” says the cat. It jumps on top of the fence. I take Aggie back to Mr. Thomas. “Aggie will not learn,” I say. “She will learn,” Mr. Thomas says. “But it will take time.” “Maybe Aggie does not like SIT,” I say. “Maybe she does not like STAY.” My red ball rolls out of my pocket. Mr. Thomas hands me my red ball. “Maybe she likes playing fetch,” he says. “Fetch, Aggie!” I say. Aggie runs fast. Aggie is a good dog. And she will learn. Someday.
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