|Oh, would you just get on with it!|
Here's what we'll do: I'll pretend I didn't write this, and you all don't look, OK? Also, no talking about fight club! Here goes...
|Too late, I already fell asleep...|
The past few days, Monster has been incredibly good on walks. It started with people, on one walk we encountered five different men, three of them complete strangers, all actively doing something, four of them looking at us and speaking to us, and two of them moving straight toward us. All close (the closest at leash length). And Monster didn't react! He didn't ignore them, but he didn't react badly. He was interested in them, he stuck his head out to get a better sniff of the closest ones, but no snarling, jumping, lunging, growling - not even tightened leash!
|Are you still going on about that? Let's have some peace and quiet now...|
And then it started happening with dogs... Today we suddenly met two dogs coming around a corner toward us, fairly close (about 8-10 meters maybe). Monster stopped, I turned around and tried to call him with me - well aware that that wasn't going to work. Only to look down and realize he hadn't even hesitated, he'd followed me right away! So we turn onto a side street, trying for a different route to where we were going. Unfortunately the two dogs follow us, and at the end of the road we have to squeeze by a fenced yard along a very narrow path, and in that yard were two rabidly insane terriers. Well, I tell a lie, one of them was rabidly insane, the other one was "just" a high level fence fighter. Still, complete chaos. Monster is very clearly disturbed by the dogs, especially the one who is actually attacking the fence, biting and pulling at it while just screaming rage, then running off to build some speed before launching himself at the fence... I was hoping the owners would turn up and call the dogs (that was a lot of noise, and this was in the morning), but no one turned up. I had to choose between forcing Monster to squeeze by the fence or turn back and have him meet and pass the two dogs following us. I chose the fence, at least the dogs were separated. Monster did pull toward these dogs, but he was also very clearly trying to communicate. He did some quick (and only half finished) play bows, he looked away, he sniffed, he turned to the side, etc - it was all on turbo speed, and he was clearly both uncomfortable and overexcited, but it wasn't lunging and snarling! All right, there may have been some lunging, but we're working our way up from a deep valley here people, so give me this one, OK? After we'd passed the fenced yard we took a little timeout at a distance, letting Monster look at the terriers if/when he wanted to (they were still barking/attacking the fence) and sniff around and pretend to ignore them if he felt like that. When he was calmer we moved on, turned a corner, and of course there were the two dogs from earlier, heading straight for us again. We were not going back to the terriers, but with the stress Monster had just been under there was absolutely no chance he'd be able to handle meeting and passing these dogs (I know, like he could have done that if he hadn't just been wound up - it's fun to pretend though). So, off to the side of the path we go - we can't get far, but by then I'm simply aiming for a distance where I'll be able to physically control Monster, and hopefully not frighten the other dogs (and owner) half to death. But again he surprises me! He takes a couple of steps toward the other dogs but keeps the leash slack, he looks at them interestedly (but not tense, not the "scare stare") as they move toward us (still calm...), draw even with us (still calm!), and move away from us (what the...?). Monster keeps looking at them as they walk away, while I stand there more or less stunned just looking at him until I come around from the shock and decide we shouldn't stand around in the bushes for the rest of the day. So, we move on. And walk not even two minutes, before we cross a bike path and I suddenly realize there's a woman right there, walking toward us with her two dogs. The group must have been about 4-5 meters away from us, walking directly toward us. Monster? No reaction. It's like he didn't see them, but he's a dog - he knew they were there, he just didn't want to acknowledge them. By then I was exhausted from all the excitement, even if Monster seemed to be doing fine, so I set the course for home. And come upon some small, fluffy, bouncy thing (poodle-something?), trying to walk backwards (his owner was moving away from us - thank you, universe!) while barking, bouncing, growling and just generally behaving like... well, like Monster. While Monster seemed confused more than anything else, and didn't respond in kind. Now, if I had written this, and if you in turn had read it, I'd ask you: how about that, people!?! But I didn't. And you didn't. So I won't.
Of course, when we were aaaaaaalmost home a cat ran past us, and there went our peace. But let's deal with cats some other day, OK?
|Shut up! I'm trying to concentrate! There was a cat here...|
(Oh, and in case you're wondering: yeah, the leg's still broken. Working on it.)