Since Mr Spaghetti Legs is extremely wobbly on his old pins these days, I like to take Little Monkey for a longer, faster walk on her own most days. (I return and take SL for his own slow amble.)
The other day, I took Little Monkey to the sports fields, where I can let her off the lead. Unfortunately, when I got there and was walking past the tennis courts, I could see above me on the field, several not OK dogs, with an even worse owner. If I let LM off the lead now, she would definitely run straight at these dogs and bark and the owner would freak out.
So I turned left by the courts and walked along there a little way. LM could not see up onto the field as it is a raised area. I told her to sit, took off her lead and walked away the length of the tennis court – while she stayed. Yes, she has some skills! Then I called her to me, and she came straight away and sat down in front of me.
Now I knew she was listening, we continued on our walk, with her behind me.
After walking the length of the fields, hidden from sight of the dogs above, I deemed it safe to climb up onto the soccer fields. By now, the suspect dogs were diagonally across from us and two soccer fields away. LM won’t run that far!
Great; now we could continue on our walk.
Then I saw a couple of people and many dogs walking onto the field in front of us, at the other end, directly where we were headed. They looked all right, so I left LM. I know the worst that she will do is run straight at them, bark while turning round in a large arc five metres away from them, and then trot back to me. She never makes contact. Most dogs are well socialised and can tell instantly that LM is a harmless idiot and are sensible enough to ignore her behaviour.
(She does this because she is anxious and has no idea how to interact socially. I adopted her at eighteen months and she was totally unsocialised. I have done the best I can in the last nine years, (Dog classes every week!) but that part of her brain will always be underdeveloped.)
True to form, she set off at full speed towards the new dogs at the other end of the field.
They did not react at all, because they could tell by her body language that she was not aggressive. Basically, she is just a giant Noo Noo!
Long before she reached them, she slowed down, turned and trotted back to me; not even uttering one little bark!
My dear old girl!
You are nearly eleven years old! The spirit is willing, but the lungs and the legs are not.
Still, it makes life easier for me!