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, May 02, 2006

Since the weather is stunningly beautiful, I decided to make a little change in our morning routine. Normally, I get up and shower and then I feed Rockwell and then we go out in the yard for his first pee (and sometimes poo) of the day. Then I have my breakfast and before I can have my coffee, he is barking at me to go OUT. This morning, I got dressed to go for a proper walk (when you’re in the yard, you can wear any old thing) and right after he had breakfast, I put his leash on and we went out into the park. I decided to use the short leash, even though I planned to let him sniff around because I wanted him to know I was in control.

As soon as we got to the park, he actually had a poop, which was rewarding in itself. :) I picked it up and we continued slowly around this internal path. Half way around, there is a large pond where geese and ducks like to hang out and I made Rockwell sit and just watch them until I felt he had grown accustomed to the distraction. There was a woman doing tai chi so I made him sit and watch her for a while. About three quarters of the way around, there is a ball diamond with a picnic table behind home plate so I sat down and Rockwell sniffed around.

Then I saw it before he did. A woman was out walking her brace of Shelties. They were off leash and she was walking quite slowly toward us. She spotted Rockwell then and called her dogs to her and they walked obediently toward us. Rockwell spotted them and started to whine a little. I got my hand in his collar and couldn’t make him sit. The woman stopped a ways away and commanded her dogs to sit, which they did, making a perfect picture of obedience. She asked from a safe distance if they could “say hello” and I said I would rather not as my dog would go ballistic and I’d never get him to listen. She actually understood and continued on her way and we exchanged further pleasantries from a distance. She said her dogs were 9 years old and I explained that he was only 10 months old but that he was losing a certain part of his anatomy tomorrow and then he might listen after that.

So the walk was very nice. I mostly got him to listen by being quiet when I said things like “leave”. I got to stand by him while he sat and watch the world too. He failed to listen at all when the other dogs were there but I expected that. And I so enjoy the early morning that the work with Rockwell was more than worthwhile.


At 1:01 p.m., May 02, 2006, Blogger 8675309 said...

Sounds like a lovely morning, indeed. Rockwell, best of luck with tomorrow's events!

At 10:27 a.m., May 04, 2006, Blogger Sandy said...

Aren't they great when they're calm and biddable? Boogalu still loses his mind around other dogs, but he is getting better. Slowly. I really think it is a maturity issue as well as training.

At 4:39 p.m., May 04, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Jenny, it was a lovely start to the day.

Sandy, he wasn't really that calm - I exaggerated. But I agree that time and maturity will really help.


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