• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe



Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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Cutie Mark Crusader Dog Trainers

Cutie Mark Crusader Dog Trainers
August 3rd, 2014

It was such a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon. I've been slowly but surely crawling out of my shell ever since Night Hunter passed on, hours from my patrols being cut, and the paranoia of when I was going to have another unexpected outburst of rage, but this day felt like more of an anew to me. Spike, Discord, and Big MacIntosh had gone out earlier to catch up on their homemade fantasy-roleplaying game, the kind that has wizards and the medieval stuff. They went into the Everfree to have a more "authentic" feeling to it. Not sure how hanging out in a creepy forest sets the mood.

But like I was saying, it would truly be foolish for me to pass up a day that seemed all but perfect; sunny and warm with gentle breeze. And so, Twilight and I decided to hook Bridgette's leash onto her collar and took her for walk. Bridgette panted as Twilight and I walked along near the edge of Ponyville, the suns heat fairly beating down hard. We all paused for a brief moment as I removed a water bottle from my backpack and gave Bridgette a swig of water before moving on. A lot of the townsfolk were out and about, children were at play, usually doing an activity that involves water. However, Twilight and I spotted three outlying fillies approaching us in the distance.

"Hey, it's Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo." I noticed.

"Oh, it is. They look a little bored, don't you think?" Twilight said.

"Yeah, kinda." I replied.

Their sulking expressions brightened once the fillies noticed us as well. Bridgette stared at them and her tail began wagging. Bridgette tried to pull in order to get closer, but I easily held her back. Of course, Bridgette had to then go prone due to her submission towards any pony she hasn't met or seen in a while, causing Twilight and I to stop in our tracks.

"Awwww." all three of the CMC adored, walking up to Bridgette to pet her.

"Hello, girls." Twilight affably acknowledged to the girls.

"Hi, Twilight." Applebloom replied.

"Bridgette is so adorable, Caleb!" Sweetie Belle said, petting Bridgette's head.

"I do get that a lot." I said.

"How old is she? She has a bunch of grey hairs on her chin." Scootaloo asked.

"Eleven. She may be old on the outside, but believe me, she hasn't lost the personality of a puppy." I said.

"So she's really energetic?" Applebloom asked.

"Mostly during the day, but her walks usually get all that energy out." I replied.

"Hmmm. And how well-trained is she?" Scootaloo asked.

"Bridgette's must've been trained real well. She's a good dog and obediently listens most of the time." I said.

"What about tricks?" Scootaloo added. This question actually got me thinking.

"Well, uh, I haven't seen Bridgette do a trick before, now that I think about it. Have you, Twilight?" I said.

"Not that I know of." Twilight replied.

"Is that so?" Scootaloo said before quickly swooping Applebloom and Sweetie Belle into a group huddle, whispering incoherently.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" I asked Twilight, grinning.

"I believe I have a hunch." Twilight replied.

"Alright," Applebloom began after the brief huddle. "Since everypony seems unsure on wether this little pooch can preform tricks, we have decided to become......

"Oh, no."

"CUTIE MARK CRUSADER DOG TRAINERS! Yay."

"I mean, if that's okay with you." Sweetie Belle said, timidly.

"Just for a day, at least." Scootaloo said.

"Oh yeah, sure, sure. Of course. Man, you three were much louder than the last time." I said.

"Its been three years, so we've had time to practice." Applebloom said as all three of them hoofbumped.

"Obviously. Oh, and before I forget, Caleb brought a bag of treats in his backpack," Twilight mentioned, taking out a plastic bag filled with flavored bones. " These should help."

"Awesome! Now all we have to find an ideal area for training." Scootaloo said.

"What about the meadow? Its not far and free of major distractions." Twilight proposed.

"Good idea, Twilight. This should be easy." Sweetie Belle said.

We then moved out of the village and into the neighboring meadow that also adjacent to the Everfree Forest. Nothing but grass, trees and other species of flora laid in abundance. Bridgette had her head raised and sniffed the air, probably due to the patch of daisies that gave off a rather pleasant scent. Once situated, I unhooked Bridgette's leash and she was free to move around.

"Let's see what you got." I said.

Applebloom, Sweeite Belle, and Scootaloo then stood side-by-side to one another and gave Bridgette a stern look.

"Bridgette, sit." they commanded.

Bridgette stared at the three fillies for a few seconds, followed up by her walking up to them and slowly sitting down.

"That was a good start." Sweetie Belle said.

"Alright, little poochie, we're gonna turn you from an average dog into a spectacularly, amazing show-dog that nopony has ever seen." Applebloom said.

Bridgette just sat there, staring blankly. However, when Sweetie Belle levitated a dog bone out of the treat bag, Bridgette's eye's locked on and her long tongue lapped her muzzle.

"Firstly, we'll begin with the simple Treat On The Nose Trick. Sweetie Belle, would you mind puttin' the treat on our trainee's nose?" Applebloom said, causing Sweetie Belle to look away.

"Absolutel--"

With a flick of her jaw, Bridgette swiped the dog bone out of Sweetie Belle's levitating grasp and proceeded to messily gobble it down. This got a laugh out of Twilight and I while the girls just stared at Bridgette in surprise.

"Maybe I should try that again." Sweetie Belle said, regaining another treat out of the bag.

"And hold it a little bit---"

Again, without any warning, Bridgette snatched the treat away from Sweetie Belle and ate it right up within a matter of seconds and went back into her sitting position.

"Sweetie Belle." Scootaloo whined.

"I'm sorry. Here, I'll raise it higher." Sweetie Belle said.

Now, Sweetie Belle had the treat held up at around six feet and Bridgette remained seated.

"That's better. When I hold her muzzle, start lowering the bone onto the flattest part. Got it," Applebloom said, placing a hoof.

"I suppose so." Sweetie replied.

"Alright, hold it... Hold it....." Applebloom calmly coaxed as the treat lowered.

Sweetie Belle had placed the treat right on Bridgette's snout, causing Bridgette to go cross-eyed just to get a glimpse at it. Bridgette then started to steadily crane her neck, trying to lose the center of gravity, but Sweetie retracted the treat a few feet away.

"No, Bridgette. See, this is how you teach her to hold still when the treat is on her--" Applebloom tried to finish explaining.

"No!" Sweetie exclaimed, her voice cracking.

Just like that, Bridgette pounced upwards and another treat was now heading down into the dog's stomach. Scootaloo facehoofed herself and the other two fillies looked at Brigette dejectedly.

"Maybe you guys should try something else. She's being a little naughty on this trick." I suggested.

"Ah well. We can either teach her to play dead, stand on two legs, spin around in circles of command... or maybe even roll over." Applebloom said.

Those sound a little complicated." Sweetie Belle said.

"Let's try to make her shake hooves. That's a good trick." Scootaloo recommened.

"Oooh! Winona knows that one, right Applebloom?" Sweetie asked.

"As if it were an everyday activity. This should definitely be a piece of cake for Bridgette." Applebloom replied.

"That is if she doesn't eat the cake so early." Scootaloo teased whilst smirking.

"Oh, alright then. You give dog training a try, Scootaloo." Applebloom insisted, backing away from Bridgette.

"Thank you, Applebloom. I'm not one to back down." Scootaloo accepted.

She then went up to Bridgette and Sweetie Belle had the treat raised high.

"Alright, shake. C'mon, shake." Scootaloo said, raising Bridgette's paw up at the same time the phrase was being said.

But for some unknown reason at first, Bridgette lowered her paw and her ears perked up, straigtening her gaze at Scootaloo. Then, she went down into a bow position, and boy did I know what that meant. She repeatedly adjusted herself by patting the ground in her play position, growling at Scootaloo.

"What does that mean, Caleb?" Scootaloo nervously asked.

"She must've thought you were initiating play with her. Here, I'll hold her back for now." I said, hooking Bridgette's collar with the leash.

"No, no, let her go. I want to see what she's got." Scootaloo daringly said.

"But what about the training?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"Forget about the training. Who needs that when we have a dog that's ready to have some fun." Scootaloo said.

"You sure?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Definitely." Scootaloo said, firmly.

"Better get a head start then." Twilight said.

Scootaloo then dashed off into the meadow until she was short distance away, stopping in her tracks.

"C'mon, Bridgette. Come here!" Scootaloo called, causing Bridgette to whine and her tail to wag like crazy.

"Go on! Go get her!" I egged on, unleashing the energetic Labrador free.

Bridgette immediately took off towards Scootaloo and the filly followed suit by spriting away as well. Both Scootaloo and Bridgette's speed were equal, but Bridgette was definitely more agile in terms of turning, kicking up the grass and flowers in the process.

"Oh, to heck with it, she's right. That does look pretty fun!" Applebloom said, sprinting towards the duo.

"Wait for me!" Sweetie pursued.

For that point, Twilight and I sat underneath a lone tree and in the soothing shade as playtime had commenced for the fillies and Bridgette.

"How sweet." Twilight nudged while smiling.

"Yeah. It sure is." I said.

It truly was. The sight of children and a dog at innocent play made me remember that there's moments in life that are wholesome and cherishable. I could faintly hear the laughter of the girls as they were having the time of their lives in the distance as they switched from chasing Bridgette to themselves being chased as well. Whenever the fillies would be still to catch their breaths, Bridgette would attack them with a series of kisses and rub her head up against them as a form of wrestle.

Eventually, after about twenty minutes, Bridgette started getting a little tuckered out and strayed away from the girls, lying down in her own little shady spot as well while rapidly panting. The girls also followed her to spot and lied down with her. Twilight and I walked over to the weary group and offered them water, which they gladly accepted.

"Are you girls going to be okay for now?" Twilight asked.

"I think so. We're just gonna lay with her for a little bit." Applebloom replied.

"Alright. Caleb and I will be over by that tree if you need us." Twilight informed.

"Okay." Applebloom simply replied.

Before I walked back, I gave Bridgette a little rub on her exposed underside and scratched her ear while she lied on her back.

"Y'know, I think today was one of the greatest days of my life, in my book." I said.

"Oh yeah? Let's just hope for more like these and wish that no crazy monster or power-hungry bad guys decides to threaten Equestria." Twilight said.

"Try not to jinx us," I joked. "But here's hoping."

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