Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Well heeled

This morning’s walk involved yet another stand-off with the tugboat captain who has now decided that if he can't pull me along that-a-way, then he'll just lie down until I see things from his point of view. He tried that tactic for the first time on yesterday's lunchtime walk, but because it was a lovely sunny day I was quite happy to lie down with him; something which I'm sure he didn't expect!

But doing that at 7 o'clock on a cold damp morning is another matter, and I certainly wasn't going to join him on the cold dewy grass. Instead I had to stand there gently pulling on his lead every few seconds, until he finally gave in and we continued with our 'walk'. After several encounters like this we both, as you can imagine, returned home feeling a bit disgruntled.

But this afternoon's walk was a completely different matter and I had my first taste of what it's like to walk a well-trained dog! I'd already reviewed my tactics and realised that I need to give Bingley some extra lee-way and allow him to explore and snuffle the long grass around the edge of the field, always his main objective on these walks, for longer periods. But after that it was almost as though he was thanking me, and off we went on a most dignified walk....well, better than the previous efforts anyway. We even included some road practice down by the dual carriageway, and that felt really good: as I chanted the litany of 'heel, heel, good boy, heel...' he trotted along very happily for the whole time, and wasn't at all put off by the traffic.

We had such a good time (okay, I had such a good time!) that we stayed out for a bit longer than we should - about 30 minutes, and I think that even with all the rest-stops he was pretty tired by the time that we returned. After a couple of long drinks of water he was fast asleep in a few moments and, hopefully, having pleasant dreams.

I don't for a moment think that we've cracked it and that Bingley will now suddenly stop that fierce tug-like pulling, but it was nice to get a glimpse of a well behaved dog. Let's see what happens tomorrow......!

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