Another trip to the park

Aug 2, 2017 | Serra's Story

We looked at a Buick tonight, and the ugliest SUV ever made – the Ford Flex.

We’re down to the Flex and the Highlander.

But back to the cause of the Car Concerns.

This morning Syn and Spider went out several times to wrestle in the yard. It was wonderful listening to them snarling and snapping. Syn finally came whizzing in through the dog door, launched herself at me, and just lay in my lap laughing about all the fun she was having.

Then the little Toad wandered over to look at something on the fireplace bricks, looked around, saw me, and peed all over the bricks.

However, this evening – wow, we had a super visit to the park where we went before. There were lots of people – people walking, baby strollers, joggers, kids, kids on skateboards, kids on bikes, kids running and wrestling, Indians in saris, Sikhs in turbans, and a whole busload of chattering teenage Japanese tourists. Lots of dogs on leashes. And yes, lots and lots of goose poop.

Spider still has zero cares about what people look like, smell like, or wear. He loves them all. He loves their children. He loves their dogs. He loves loves loves goose poop.

We started in a relatively unpopulated part of the path. He looked around and then looked back at me. He got a bit of wiener for looking at me. He looked around some more, and then casually back at me, and casually got another wiener bit. Then we started walking. That went well for a few steps until he saw some goose poop. He jammed out toward it and I stopped the leash, holding him away from it. Not an ideal situation for teach Loose Leash Walking since there was more behind us. If I’d backed up, I’d have ended up swinging him around in circles as he dove toward one deposit and then another. Since I didn’t want him leaning on the leash, I bumped it gently to set him back an inch so I could give him that inch of leash to be loose. He tightened it, I bumped it, he tightened it, I bumped it.

That third time, he stood his ground, keeping it loose. He looked at the goose poop, then he looked back at me. I gave him a bit of wiener. We walked on. Came to another deposit. This time he needed two bumps before he stopped trying to go forward, turned to me, and got his wiener.

We walked on. Some kids passed us on skateboards. He followed them until he felt the leash tighten, then he turned back and looked at me. Wiener.

A dog crossed ahead of us. He surged forward until he felt the leash tighten, then he turned back and looked at me. Wiener.

That continued through the entire walk.

Please note I was not giving him a leash correction. I was giving him a soft “push” with the leash to tell him that he couldn’t go any farther in that direction.

When we got to the lake, where there were even more people of all persuasions going by at various speeds and decibel levels, we started doing our homework. The place was exciting and he forgot what “Sit” meant, but we worked it for a minute and he remembered. Sit, down, hand Zen, touch. A few stands thrown in. Every time he heard the clatter of a skateboard or other enthusiasm he watched it for a moment, then turned to make eye contact with me, obviously expecting – and getting! – a treat. He didn’t look at anything because he was concerned about it, but only because it was interesting.

Finally we walked back to the car on a loose leash almost all the time. By then he was watching and wagging rather than aiming for people and dogs. The only thing that still got the leash to tighten was the goose poop and even that seemed a bit half-hearted. More testing to be sure he understood the rules than actually thinking he was going to get to it.

Then we came home, he had a light supper (being already stuffed with hot dog), and then a nap. He just woke up from his nap, started to walk into the kitchen, stopped, thought about the situation for a moment, then trotted outside to pee. Dear little Tat.