We’ve all been there. And it’s generally when there’s an audience around to watch the drama unfold. Your so-called, well-behaved dog decides to unleash their inner Wolf and go a bit whacky for a while. Embarrassment, stress and sometimes, even life threatening moments occur, but if it makes you feel any better, most dog owners have a tale to tell……..
Dog lover Jeremy Cook (who also writes the camera-centric blog DIY Tripods) relates a story that occurred during mountain biking, one of his favourite dog-related activities.
“I experienced it firsthand, my dog wasn’t as tired as I, and she ended up running onto a high speed road after our off-road ride was done. Chasing a dog down the road while wearing biking cleats is no fun, and seeing a car come close to hitting her was much less so. Fortunately, nothing happened that day, besides an unhappy driver. Since then, when I’m on that trail, I always try to leash her up before getting to the parking area.”
Jennifer Phelan, and her Kelpie Kate are the faces behind the Australian Dog Adventures Website, and she has an episode that sticks firmly in her mind.
“One morning we decided to go for a walk along the beach with Flirt, a new foster dog. This was my first lesson, until you have walked a dog on leash in different situations, don’t let them off leash until you are confident in how they will react. Flirt is great at recall but she didn’t know me well enough yet to recognise me in a crowd, she lost sight of me and panicked running from person to person to see if they were me. Even though I could see her and went after her, there was too much noise and too many distractions for her to focus on my voice. Once I got her she stuck to me like glue – and then I realised that Kate had taken off down the beach pelting after a bird!
So this is the scene, Kate sprinting off down the beach, me running after her alternating between yelling her name and making sure Flirt was next to me, all in front of 100 + people! Kate then spotted a girl running down the beach and as I take her running she thought that was me so followed on behind her – by this stage she is about 200m in front of me and the wind had picked up so my voice was being blown away! I ended up running with Flirt in tow 1km after my dog constantly yelling out her name. I finally got her attention and after about 15 mins of running and yelling I got both dogs back and both went on leash and I sheepishly walked back up the beach.”
And my tale? When Scooter was a pup he was extremely big and boisterous with no training to boot. The beach seemed like the best place to unleash his energy. On arrival I let him explore the grassy verge off-leash in the hope he’d do his business. Too excited he took off down to the beach to ‘play’ with some people taking a stroll. By the time I arrived Scooter had bowled over an elderly lady and was cavorting around her in a frenzied licking spree, whilst her young grandson was futilely attempting to help her up.
Needless to say, all three of us have learnt the hard way and now ‘walk’ our dogs a little differently when we’re out in public spaces. The main thing is to be aware at how quickly the situation can change when you have an animal with primal instincts walking by your side. The more training you can do with your dog the better and the more alert you are to the situation that is unfolding the quicker you’ll be able to react.
Have you got a similar story? What lessons have you learnt from taking the dog for a walk?
This post is also part of the Fit Dog Friday Blog hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!