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, September 05, 2006

I was just thinking about having to get new shoes this morning, as I was sitting at my desk at school and looking down at the navy pumps I was wearing which had cracks across the soles. I walk to work wearing running shoes but change into "good shoes" once I get there. Therefore I hadn't noticed the cracks in the soles until I was sitting, looking right at them. And they are huge, structural cracks. So just now, I went to get the mail and there was a flyer from Naturalizer and what did I see on the cover but a woman walking a yellow Lab! Ack. Is this fate or what?

Yesterday was a mostly unpleasant day because I am feeling sorry for myself that Peter is away and I have no back-up for Rockwell's rambunctiousness. I had to endure several outings with him - I can't call them "walks" because very little actual walking is done. There's some galloping, and much pulling at the leash, and some sudden darts at right angles to go smell something interesting or have a poo. Very little sedate walking. And with all this feeling sorry for myself, I was starting to count the days when Rockwell might get recalled.

Then I got over myself. I went to work early this morning which always sets a good tone for the day for me. When I got home (I'm only gone 2 hours), Rockwell was nice and subdued. I don't know what exactly he thinks when he is left alone, but I have the impression he thinks he's been abandoned and is resigned to his fate. Then when I reappear, he is so relieved. So out we went.

This time, I let him go where he wanted but made it look (to him) like it was my idea (that's the theory anyway). My aim was to go over to the public bench by the commercial building not far from the house and sit there. For as long as Rockwell wanted to. I think he really enjoys just being outside and I am always trying to drag him home. So we went and sat and sat. And watched people and talked to some. And Rockwell lay under the bench and ate dirt or gum and sometimes he watched people. A big highlight for him was when a chocolate Lab was walked by with his people.

Finally, Rockwell got up and put a paw on my lap and I asked him if he was ready to go. And off we went. We made it as far as another bench in the park before he decided he wanted to hang out some more. So we sat there. And finally we went home. I think we sat on benches for over 45 minutes before he had his fill of outside.

I think I might be "spoiling" him by not imposing discipline but I really can't do it. I convinced myself earlier of his delicate spirit and I am not going to be the one to break it. I am sure he is tougher than I am allowing but I don't want to be the one to find out I'm right. So he is here for maybe another month and he's not going to get much work but I won't worry about it because I know he's going to get plenty of work when he goes to school. And because he is intrinsically a good dog, a little indulgence won't hurt him.
Rocky just cruisin


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