So here we are, having had pup for just over 8 months now. He loves my hubby and my son...he LOVES them. When they walk, pup is right next to them...heaven forbid he leaves their side..why he'd never forgive himself if something nasty were to happen to them. He listens to their every command, and he is obedient when he's in the house with them.
And then there's me!!
Pup HATES me. He doesn't care if anything were to happen to me on our walk....in fact, I believe he secretly hopes that I run away or better yet, fall into an open manhole cover, far down, away into the sewer...swept away by the tide only to re-emerge far, far into some far off ocean in some far off land. You don't believe me? Well why else would he walk so far away from me when I'm holding the leash? Not only does he go to the end of the leash, but he starts running so that he can get as far away from me as possible. When it becomes evident to him that I am not about to let go of the leash, he then turns towards me and puts the leash in his mouth, tugging hard, trying to make me loosen my grip. He actually went through leash #8 this week. Remember, we've had pup for 8 months and this is his 9th leash!!!! I wonder if they make Kevlar leashes??
So anyway, along with the tugging, biting and pulling, my pup tries to get away from me by running back and forth (always at the end of the leash), either trying to wear me down or dislocate my shoulder. Each time I get back from my walk, all sweaty and dishevelled, I always make a solemn vow that that was my last walk with him..Then of course, a few hours later, I take him out again. Yes, pup and I have a real, "master and servant" thing going on..only he thinks HE'S the one in charge.
One night, I took him out and he started playing with his best friend, a lovely year old Golden-Doodle. As they played, I noticed he kept taking a toy from her. The Golden's master told me it was an unstuffed ferret and that my dog probably loved playing with it more that his dog did. All of a sudden, a light bulb went off over my head. The next day, I went out and bought a white, unstuffed ferret and hid it from him until it was my turn to walk him. That afternoon, the second I showed him the ferret, he smiled, grabbed it and never let go. The walk was priceless. It was the best walk I had had with him in 8 months. We walked everywhere together, for close to an hour!!
Next day, same thing, day after that, same thing. Now, the 4th walk was kinda dicey. The ferret, after 3 days, had become really filthy, and, because the weather had been quite mild, there was quite a bit of water on the ground. Pup had been dragging the ferret in his mouth, but the water was seeping into the ferret, and it was getting heavier and heavier. I guess pup wasn't use to having to lug around a heavy, wet ferret and just left it in the middle of the street. In the nano second it took for the ferret to leave his mouth, the leash was back in pup's mouth!! I kept trying to put the ferret back in there but it was impossible!!! For those of you who have tried to pry something out of your dog's mouth, try imagining trying to do the opposite!! The pup just would not put the heavy wet ferret in his mouth!
So, being rather resourceful, I kept looking for imaginative ways to keep the ferret there. At first I tried to wrap the ferret around the pup's head. I figured it wouldn't be too heavy and he had easy access to his mouth. What was I thinking??
Then, I wrapped the ferret around his leash. That way, every time he'd go for the leash, he'd find the ferret there instead. Once again, what was I thinking??
So, I did the only thing I could do. As I walked him I had the leash in one hand and the ferret held out in front of his like a carrot in the other. Believe it or not, this worked really well. The last 4 walks have been like this. I just hold it out in front of him and he walks perfectly. People on the street give me peculiar glances, but I don't care one bit!! It works.
Now about a week later, my son took pup out for a walk. When son came back, he casually mentioned that he had LOST the ferret in a school yard. Horrified, I had looked at the empty hook in the garage that was home to the ferret for a full week. As my eyes were filling up with tears, I started putting on my sweater, scarf, snow pants, hat, boots, gloves...and ran out of the house in search of the ferret. I entered the school yard, and in the distance, I could see this dirty grey clump on top of the pure white snow. I ran to that ferret, picked it up, brought it home and put it back on its hook. Every member of my family knows never to touch that ferret again..It's MINE!!!! It's the only way I can walk my dog and not come back with a dislocated shoulder. The fabulous ferret saved the day!!!
For more blogs, please visit http://cluelesspuppyowner.blogspot.com/ and http://thecluelesspuppyowner.blogspot.com/