Sunday, January 30, 2011
Last Saturday I took him for our walk. The route we take is about three miles. It's up, around and down the "hill." Aaron and Drew were at the Pinewood Derby Cub Scout event and Gabriel was not feeling well. When I got down to the bottom of our driveway I realized I did not have my cell phone. I contemplated climbing back up to get it but laziness won over. Gabriel would be fine and I would be safe because I had Drake with me. As we started our walk there were a few snow flurries. I had thought about turning around but guessed that the snow would stop and then I would've wasted our walk. The snow was rather a nice touch on that beautiful morning.
I am working on training Drake right now. The Dog Whisperer has said that the dog needs to be on a short leash. If the dog is walking in front of you then he is walking you and he is showing his position as Alpha dog. I am trying to show Drake that I am the Alpha. When we exit the yard for our walks, I go out the gate first and Drake is to follow. Same on the return. I am to keep him on a short leash and then when he starts to pull, yank the leash back. In time he will learn that he is to walk by my side, if not slightly behind me. For several weeks now we have been walking this way. I put my wrist through the leash and wrap, wrap, wrap the rest around my hand. So far the results are that I have one really buff right arm from all of the steering and jerking I'm having to do. Drake....still seems to be leading.
As we walked last Saturday, Drake kept fighting the leash.
"Heel," jerk, "heel," jerk. At one point I pulled Drake to the side of the road to re-wrap the leash because it was so tight on my hand.
"Listen Drake, I am the Alpha. Got that? I am the boss here. I am walking you. You are not walking me. Right?" Right... We headed off again. Drake could smell something though and so he kept pulling me. At one point he took off hard and fast into a snow bank. I thought I was going to lose him but I dug my heels in and yanked hard on his leash. I regained control and we continued on our walk.
There is a part of the hill where the snow and ice never melt because it is always in the shade. We were at that point and I was having to be very careful of my footing. Then came the deer. This deer came hopping, like a rabbit, across the road. My mind quickly calculated, how pretty! It's just like you see on tv! Drake is going to go after it... I got a tight grip on the leash and calmly told Drake to stay. He did. We walked on. We did not go very far when the deer came boing, boinging back across the road right in front of Drake and I. I swear she was taunting him! And it worked because that was too close for Drake and he ripped away from me. My arm went with him and I quickly assessed that I was would be next so I let go of my grip and let the leash unravel. In seconds, Drake and the deer were gone.
And of course I did not have my cell phone, because what I wanted to do was call Kevin to come help me round him up with his truck. I walked on with out Drake, calling for him all the while. At one point I saw his tracks in the snow. There was his big ol' paw print accompanied by a slash mark. The slash was his leash. It dragged next to his paws leaving exclamation points all over the snow.
One time he came bounding back to me!
"Drake! Come here big boy! Good boy! Come here!" Drake was galloping right towards me. I prepared myself for the hit and then...he turned around and took off again before I could get a hold of him or his leash.
When I got home I called Caren. (What would I do with out Kevin and Caren? Seriously! How often do they bail me out?) Caren was preparing for the Soup Party and so Kevin met me at the bottom of the driveway with his truck. I had microwaved some hot dogs to try and lure Drake home. I apologized that my dog and I had once again disrupted Kevin's household. He of course, claimed to not mind at all. He loves the Drake.
We drove around the loop calling for him and waving the hot dogs out the window. We met another walker on the road.
"We are looking for Drake, " Kevin informed her. "He looks a lot like that," he said pointing to her yellow lab mix.
"Yes, he was following us just a bit ago. I told him he needed to go back the other way."
"Thanks!" Kevin headed in the direction she told us she had seen Drake and we both laughed. What made this lady think that a dog running around with a leash but no owner attached to it is going to do what she said? Ahahahaha!
Not long after we parted from the Walker we spotted Drake. He came running up to the truck. I did not want to give him the hot dog because he was naughty but Kevin (the push over) said I should give it to him to reward him for returning. What? But I did... Drake jumped into the back of the truck and we went home.
Thursday we went for our walk and he did great! I felt like we were finally making progress. He did not pull often and my poor arm welcomed the rest. We even saw some deer and though Drake desperately wanted them, he heeded my commands and stayed with me. It was a great walk until....we came upon another walker with a long haired dachshund. Drake started pulling and whining. I assured the other dog owner that Drake was friendly to people and other dogs. I tried to keep us walking but then Drake jerked away toward the little weenie dog. I kept hold of the leash but it unraveled and was long. The dachshund jumped into his owners arms and Drake wrapped his leash (and I) around that poor lady.
"He is very friendly and very strong." I told her as I regained control of my dog and my self.
"I can see that," she said. She was cool enough about it. We parted ways and the remainder of our walk was uneventful.
Last night we were invited to a dinner party at Kevin and Caren's. At a school fundraiser they auction off this dinner party and Kevin and Caren won it last year. Basically two chefs come to your home and prepare a 6 course meal for you. Wine is served with each course. I have been very good on my diet this past week, knowing that this dinner party was coming. I was going to have all of it! I'm not gonna lie to you: I'm hurting a bit today. After not having any alcohol for two weeks and then having a glass with each course....ug.
When we left for the dinner, Aaron lost Drake. When he leaves out the gate, he holds Drake at bay by the collar and then slips past. Last night though, Aaron said he could hear dogs barking. Something was out there and Drake was on the up and up about it too. He tore away from Aaron and made a break for it. ("That is the strongest dog I've ever known," Caren had said when Aaron told his story.) Aaron drove around to try and round him up. He said that Drake would come up to the truck but when he opened the door to get out and get him, the dog would take off again. He finally let the dog be and returned to Caren's for the dinner.
The meal was very, very good. One of the cooks' daughters plays the violin and so she played for us a bit during our meal. It was a lovely touch. I of course cried a little as I do any time someone performs. We ate some more and then all of a sudden there is a dog at Caren's side.
"Drake! Oh my gosh! He let himself in!" We all laughed and were relieved. The chefs had cracked the sliding glass door to cool the kitchen a bit and Drake opened it further to let himself in. I am so proud of him for knowing how to get home. It's funny that he came to Caren's though.
"He probably went to your house first," Kevin said. We guess the smell of the cooking reeled him in.
He has a limp now though. I don't know what happened on his little adventure but we will need to go to the vet this week. It's time he meets our new dog.