Friday, October 14, 2011

One Of Those Days

It was not a good day. Lady's "bad" behavior on the morning walk infuriated me beyond all reason. She had a full blown flip-out episode when a jogger and dog passed us, frustrating me to the point of making ridiculous declarations like: "I am never walking this dog again." Somehow it feels personally insulting that after all this time, I still can't get her to respond like a normal dog in these situations.

There are times when she does respond to her training, in tune with (and caring about) what I want. When she can interrupt the cycle and look me in the eye even for a moment, I see it register there. "I need to leave it alone."  There have been times, particularly this past year, when I was convinced we had overcome this problem.

But then the jogging person and dog go by and she's lunging on her hind legs and bouncing around on the end of her leash, barking like a junkyard dog. "Who is this dog? How long have we been working on this? UGH!!" This was one of those days, when by the time we got back to the house I was longing for the good old days past when I could go for a walk or jog with a "normal" dog - or no dog at all.

But this dog that can frustrate me to the very limits of my patience in one moment can completely catch me off guard with her tenderness in another. She has this habit of resting her head on my foot at night when I'm watching TV. Not in a pushy, I-own-you way, but just in a quiet way that communicates "I'm right here." The soft warm fur of her face against my bare foot makes it very hard to remember ever having been frustrated with her at all. Funny how that works.


  1. Aw. I know exactly how you feel. It's so hard to deal with in those moments of "OMG why can't you just behave!" when you've been working on something for so long. Really though, you should be so proud of the progress you've made! It takes a lot of work to get there!

    Besides, for all our grumbling,I think us humans are the real suckers - we'll forgive anything for a cute face and a cuddle ;)

  2. Yes, we've had a couple instances of our pooches embarrassing us at inopportune times; like the time a girl was like "look...Miss M and Mr B from Two Pitties in the City" and Miss M thought it was such a great time to 'bark smack'.
    Though I agree, it's hard to be angry when they are so cute.

  3. You must have been walking my Lily!! And you sound like mom
    Benny (& Lily)

  4. Yikes Lady! Hope your human's arm is ok! Maybe some tasty treats whilst learning to 'watch'/ look at her whilst the joggers pass by might help...My friend sounds like Lady and her human put on a Premier Easy Walk harness - its very gentle and used in her Positive Reinforcement Training - since then life on walks has been glorious! Here take a look - her human walks holding the lead with one finger and there is no stress on doggie's human is getting me one for the village walks since there are a lot of cats round here and I can't help myself!! heehee
    Here's the link and there is a video of it on Youtube

  5. Not funny at all, really ... love is a powerful thing!

  6. Been there, done that. And, yes..."funny how that works"... :-) They are wonderful teachers in patience and acceptance, these marvelous canids...

  7. Have you tried the Gentle Leader? I must use it on Halle the standard poodle who would pull my arm out of it's socket if she was not wearing it . It does not eliminate ALL her tugging but I can control her better. Especially since I am walking all 4 dogs by myself 97% of the time.

    I know how you feel- you are not alone!

  8. Apparently I can be frustrating sometimes too - so the LOTH says.

    I think she's wrong though.

    Love and licks, Winnie

  9. Awww! I do love that dog to pieces!

  10. Oh my. That leaping, crazy, lunging scene is all too familiar to me. And it IS SO infuriating. I too have vowed to "never walk this dog again" Funny how we can't stay mad at them. I guess that's why dogs are made so cute - or perhaps the word is manipulative. It is also funny how they know which mushy buttons to push after they've just about made our heads explode.