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 23, 2006

Well, that was one of the more tiresome mornings I have had in a while. We had almost completed our circuit of the park when Rockwell started one of his I-don't-want-to-go-home tantrums. I had anticipated it and when he showed signs, I turned around and headed to the picnic table by the ball diamond where I sat on the bench for a while, thinking he would forget about it. Wrong. It was cold and windy and not sunny so I wanted to go home. I thought he should obey my wishes because I am supposed to be the boss. Also, it is my goal to get him to actually listen to me so I tried heading home again. And there we were, struggling, when this woman with the two Shelties comes along and feels she must lecture me about how incorrect I am in handling my dog. I try to get away but Rockwell isn't having any of it so I cave in and listen to her lecture. Oh she meant well but it helps to be humble and you can't be humble if you think you know it all. She didn't know me or him or our circumstances or the fact that even though we were having this power struggle, we had vastly improved over the Winter. So I had to be humble for us both. Of course, humility doesn't work with obstreperous puppies.

Anyway, she grabbed him by the collar to make him sit and he flopped on his back on the ground and she tried to make him sit and he jumped on her so I was secretly happy. My bad. Eventually, she went away but then Rockwell still didn't want to go home. By then, I had made it to the next bench and was sitting there, wondering how to get home when the by-law enforcement officer drove by in a truck. He stopped to let me know dogs weren't allowed in this park. I feigned ignorance by saying I thought the by-laws had changed with city amalgamation. I didn't play any cards about Rockwell being a guide dog puppy because he wasn't interested in giving me a ticket. Plus I was embarrassed I had no control over this dog so I didn't want to say I was supposed to be training it. Good grief. And I had decided I NEVER wanted to go to the park with Rockwell EVER again so it didn't matter.

Finally, I called Peter to vent even though I knew he couldn't help in any way, being at work and all. My venting on the phone seemed to put the fear of god into Rockwell because after I hung up, he walked home with me on a short leash as good as gold. I have been ignoring him since I got home and he has been lying to the landing looking subdued. He knows something is wrong but I don't think he connects it with his bad behaviour in the park. We will have to go for another working walk today (and every day) so I shall try to be more boss-like. And now I will go sit on the stairs with that dog and he will make me forget all about bad behaviour.
the big stretch


At 12:24 p.m., May 23, 2006, Blogger Sandy said...

Don't you just love strangers giving you advice, or even a piece of their mind. Not that they really have any to spare :) I walk my beagles every day, and every day I clean up after them. Even when Boogalu lifts his leg on something inappropriate before I can catch him. However, it seems that months of good dog ownership mean nothing to neighbors who do not give you a chance to clean up or ignore the evidence of a poop bag in your hand. I've gotten quite tired of being verbally assaulted and it makes me wonder why I bother. Of course I won't stop cleaning up, I just wish people would talk to me like, you know, a neighbor.

At 1:43 p.m., May 23, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

It will help when you meet more dog people. Not that they know everything either. :) But they are more likely to be sympathetic. It's all a good lesson for me, to teach me to be more humble. But at my next PW session, I am going to ask for some new techniques to get him to listen to me.

At 6:28 p.m., May 23, 2006, Blogger 8675309 said...

Isn't it maddening? Now I know what my "mommy" friends go through when their toddlers throw tantrums at the store. Embarrassment. Judgment from other shoppers. Unsolicited advice.

But just look at that little face, and those stretched-out little feet. It doesn't take much to inspire forgiveness, does it?

At 2:08 p.m., May 25, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Jenny, that's a good analogy. It has certainly made me think more about being humble myself, and not judging others so quickly. Yes, all he has to do is look upward at me with that Princess Diana look and all is forgiven.


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