Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

After seeing my life flash before my eyes in the last post, I am again overly cautious and now I have fashioned a real Rube Goldberg leash arrangement. Well, not really - now it looks and feels like I am driving a small team of very small horses. I have Rockwell’s leather collar on and to it, I attach the leather leash in the balanced lead configuration. THEN I have put Uma’s old choke chain on him and to it, I have attached the blue nylon leash.

As we walk, I have the leather leash in my left hand and he tows me along as usual. I loop the end of the blue leash around my left wrist and think of it as the “safety ski bindings” of yore - if something happens with the leather collar or leash, the blue one and the chain kick in. Since the blue leash is longer than the leather leash in balanced lead configuration, I hold the middle of it in my RIGHT hand. Now I have total control of the dog. If he wants to lag behind, I can pull him with the blue leash and chain. If he needs a leash correction, I can also use the chain by giving it a snap with my right hand.

I suppose it looks like total overkill - two leashes and two collars on one little dog - but I am telling you, I feel much better about his ultimate safety. Of course, it takes a lot of my concentration to make this work smoothly. If not like driving a horse, it’s like riding a motorcycle, in that each hand has a different task, plus you are walking and moving in a direction the whole time. And as I have found before with Rockwell, if I allow my attention to be taken up with anything else, even saying hello to a passerby, he knows it instantly and misbehaves in consequence. However, with all this, I still can see him improving, little by little and day by day. Even today on our long walk, I could tell he finally started to listen to me more than he normally does. And once he is able to give me his (almost) undivided attention, I am sure I will be able to give up the double leash thing.


At 4:09 a.m., April 13, 2006, Blogger M-Fax said...

wow scary times, glad everything turned out ok.


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