With our regular Positive Pet Training Blog Hop posts, it seems like we've spent a lot of time writing about when things go well. From those posts, you might get the impression that things always go well when we're out walking these days. And most of the time, you'd be right. Rye still occasionally struggles with loose-leash walking, but she's gotten pretty responsive to reminders to heel or to ignore squirrels and cats and dogs and leaves and trash cans.
Most of the time, my girls are sweet.
But then there are the other times.
Earlier this week, we were out for a quick stroll. I needed to get to campus to meet with a new faculty member and had just enough time to do our 1.3-mile loop before I needed to hop in the shower to get ready for that meeting. From the moment we left the house, the girls were in rare form.
Barley didn't want to sit when we stopped at intersections. Or when I had to pick up poop. Rye acted like she'd never heard the phrase "What's that?" before in her life. We were running behind schedule as we kept having to stop and regroup and untangle leashes.
Once we got into the home stretch, I thought that we had finally gotten into our groove. Then the girls spotted a piece of paper in the middle of the sidewalk. It was a boring piece of plain brown paper--no signs of food particles or grease, no signs of having been peed on, nothing that should have demanded attention. But the girls zeroed in on it and planted their little feet and stuck their noses to the ground.
When they both plant their feet, I cannot get them to move for anything. I can't gently nudge them to convince them to move. I can't get them to come for a treat. However, I have found that if I take a step backwards, it usually creates just the right amount of pressure that they come with me.
This time, though, things didn't work out. We were in front of a house where they had so severely edged along the sidewalk that there was a 2-inch wide trench along the sidewalk. The grass was also about 6 inches higher than the sidewalk. When I took a step backwards, I stepped into the trench and my heel hit that 6-inch wall of dirt and grass roots and the next thing I knew I was sitting on my butt in someone's front lawn.
Of course that made me more interesting than the paper and the girls immediately swarmed me and started licking my face. With only my pride hurt, I hopped up as quickly as possible and we hurried back home without looking around to see if any neighbors had been out to watch the spectacle.
|We didn't mean to, we promise!|
Maybe one day I'll look back on this and find the humor in it, but for now, we'll be avoiding that stretch of sidewalk until we're sure anyone whose security cameras might have caught that moment have forgotten it ;)