Walking The Dogs
Or are they walking me? One never really knows, given their uncanny ability to turn into sled dogs as soon as the leash is attached. And it’s not like these dogs can’t heel – Grace is ready to compete in Rally-O and Jack Jack has been training for heelwork for almost a year now. But something about the two of them together. Grace I can manage verbally, with reminders to walk “easy,” but Jack Jack has to wear the dreaded Gentle Leader head collar. He hates it with a passion, and spends at least half the walk attempting new removal procedures. He has yet to succeed. Farley stays home, as the theatrics exhaust him, and his knees give out anyhow.
The first walk of the season was Monday night. Bright blue skies, sun shining . . . perfect walk weather. Apparently, the dogs have forgotten how to walk on a leash since the late fall. Fun stuff. Untangle, walk two steps, pull the coupler line out from under Jack’s tail, walk five steps, poop, walk three steps, untangle . . . you get the idea. And then we reach the off-leash area. This is where my own amnesia kicked in, and I let both dogs off the leash (it’s a fenced area). They go off running like something is chasing them, and they’re having fun. Until Jack sees the other dogs. The dogs that are so far away they look like specks. And he starts barking and freaking out. Aaaaah yes, I forgot. His whole “other dogs are way scary” thing. Crap! Scoop him up, and attempt to hold a writhing, barking, squirming dog while ignoring the dog that just wants to play. The poor owner is wondering what on earth her dog did to mine to make him scream. I’m reassuring her while calling Grace and trying to get the heck out of there.Yesterday’s walk was a bit more civilized. We by-passed the off-leash area, much to Grace’s chagrin and Jack’s relief. He’s much braver when the dogs are on the other side of the chain link fencing! We are still working on the getting tangled up issue, but it’ll come. And Jack’s various Gentle Leader removal attempts continue. He is convinced that with the right flick of a paw, it will magically slide off. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the show.We may actually get this routine back in place if we keep at it.
And once the two beasts are under control, I can bring Farley along for fun every now and then. Just to remind myself that carrying a 24 pound, 9 year old dog is more work than I want while taking a nice, summer walk.