Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BIG DAY FOR SALLY

On the day before her third week anniversary at this little place, Sally and her resident poop plucker had an eventful morning.
In a good way, this time.

First, there were no unplanned “events” in the house while breakfast was being prepared and eaten (yes, I allowed her to eat some of her food in the house.)
THEN, while pondering further training for the pooch, an aggressive plan was hatched.

Thus, Tall Biped armed himself with leash, doggy snacks and blue bags.
He attached the leash to smaller Furry Resident and carried her to the car, which had a seat prepared with towels to accommodate said Resident.
We drove about a half mile to the grounds of a local church that has a huge front yard (several acres)
There was some silent distress on the part of Furry Person, but she handled the trip generally well.
Once at the Large Yard, Tall Biped picked Smaller Furry Person from the seat and set her on the ground of New Large Yard.
It took about 30 seconds for Smaller Furry Person to warm to the new environment.
From then on is was a tight leash kind of morning.

With her nose suddenly on Maximum Reception, Sally had a wonderful time sniffing the many remembrances left by previous visitors.
I should have timed the party but I did not, so I can only guess that we spent about 20 minutes or so wandering around on the Large Grass.

Not surprisingly, a blue bag was needed.
Not surprisingly, there were two other dogs in the area enjoying a walk.
Sally was close enough to sniff their presence, and see them, but not close enough for any direct contact (about 50 feet).
Since this was her first time out of her yard, and her first car trip since her arrival, and her first time in this place, and her first close encounter with other dogs (other than the yappers behind the fence next door) in the open, I did not want to load her with too much stress/excitement in one trip.

I was ready to be finished before she was.
It was a test of wills to try to get her back to the car.
I was patient but persistent.
At several points, my gentle tugs to change the direction of the exploration were met with resistance.
Sometimes she would face me and pull away.
Sometime she would just sit down and look at me.
And she tried a new one – turn around and face away from me and pull away from me, as if she was pulling a wagon.
All ultimately failed.
But I was patient with her.
I gave her time to come around to seeing things my way.
Sometimes she did, sometimes not.

This was her first BIG outing and she was doing generally fine.
I let her pull me around for the most part.
I wanted her to get used to the interaction of dog, leash, and human.
A tethered walk is supposed to be fun for everyone.
In fact, sometimes she went where I wanted her to go without any tugging, and sometimes I let her go where she wanted – up to a limit.
It was a negotiated event.

I am assuming that as she gets used to traveling with me on a leash, she will mellow out a bit and we can come to some sort of truce of direction of travel.
While I am impressed with the calm boredom of the Cesar Milan's dogs while they walk with their owners, they really do not seem to be enjoying themselves.
They look like robots.
As if the body snatchers have implanted their evil seed into them and the revised dogs just calmly tolerate the human activities.
I expect Sally to be more engaged in the transit.
We shall see.

Finally, I had to pick up Sally the Dog and deposit (sorry) her onto her designated seat in the car (shot gun) for the drive home.
This short trip seemed less distressing to her than the trip over.

When we got home, I lifted her from her seat and set her on the ground to see what she would do on more familiar ground.
She was ready for more.
So, for the next ten minutes, we explored my front yard, the edge of the neighbor's front yard, the edge of the yard across the street my gutter and back again.
Ultimately, she did not want to go back into her nice little fenced yard.
I had to pick her up and PLACE her in her yard.
When I removed the leash from her collar, she headed straight for her water bucket.
I was not surprised.

For the morning I give her a B+.