Two incidents happened the other day, both of which made me laugh at my mutts.
First incident: I had walked Little Monkey and Mr Spaghetti Legs to the soccer field. There we found a large golden retriever frolicking about on the middle of the field, with a kid running around after it. Mr SL just began sniffing around, but LM was alert, with all eyes on the retriever. Then the retriever saw my dogs and ran straight for us. Luckily, the kid managed to call it back, and then he ran with it across the field and away from us.
Phew. Close call. So then I do what I normally do: sit LM down, take her lead off, tell her to stay, and walk away with Mr SL. A good 15 metres further on I sit Mr SL down, and repeat the process, walking away another 5 metres.
(Why does MR SL get to do a shorter stay? Because I’ve only had him 9 months, he just wants to follow me and it is very hard for him to stay even this short distance. LM on the other hand, whom I’ve had for 7 1/2 years, will happily do stays the length of the soccer pitch, thrives with structure in her life, and loves to run to me.)
Then I crouch down, and Mr SL comes to me. LM waits till I call her. Why do I do this? It ensures she is watching and listening, and will come to me, and not run across the nearby road chasing squirrels.
So now I call LM. She usually runs to me and sits in front of me. Gets a ‘release’ pat and then we carry on with the walk, off-lead. This time, she starts her run towards me and I notice at once that she is veering off to my right. I step that way to try to block her, but she is in full flight now. She hares right past me. I turn round and see with horror, that a guy has just come on to the field behind me, with 2 dogs on lead. He spots my dog chasing full speed towards him (LM can really move!!) and quickly takes his dogs off the lead.
As I know will happen, my girl runs straight at his dogs and when about 5 metres away charges them with “wuffwuffwuff!” then simply carries on running right past them, keeping that distance of a good 5 metres. His poor dogs watch LM’s antics in bewilderment. This is not normal dog behaviour. Sorry guys – but LM is anything but normal!
I have no choice but to follow my dog, calling out as I go, in my well-practiced chant, “Sorry, she’s an idiot, but she’s harmless,” and smiling in a friendly manner to the poor guy, who has just had quite a shock!
He realises by now, that it is OK. His dogs go and have a sniff at Mr SL, and LM comes back to me, keeping her distance from the strange dogs, but there is no problem now. We can carry on our walk. And I laugh, since I was the twit who did not look behind me, again, before releasing LM. After all, I know she is harmless, but strangers do not.
Second incident: I’d taken the dogs out with me into the front garden to fetch the post and newspaper. As I turned round from the letter box, Mr SL was standing by the garage door. There was a frozen moment when we both looked at each other, then had exactly the same thought, at the same time – “I’ve got to get to the house first!”
I wanted to get there first so I could shut the old boy outside while I prepared their supper, because he leaks everywhere. And he wanted to get there first, because he didn’t want to be shut outside!
It was hilarious. He had a good 5 metre start, and you should have seen his little legs flying all over the place as he beetled down the path, effectively blocking me from overtaking him. At the last moment I made it past him, and quickly turned and shut the security gate. Little thing; he doesn’t need to speak, it was obvious what he was thinking.
Don’t feel too sorry for him, as a few minutes later he was happily munching a big bowl of yummy food.