Monday, June 21, 2010

Dogs, glorious dogs ...

Walking without a dog is like golfing without a golfball,  surfing without a surfboard, taking pictures with the lens cap on ... you get the picture.  

I just love walking with dogs. 

It's hard not to be affected by a dogs enthusiasm as leashes come out and that exciting question "Who wants to go for a walk?" is uttered.  Dogs gather wiggling, whining and running back and forth to the front door, in case I might have forgotten where the exit is. 

Left to right above: Chandler, Sooki, Wendy & Trey

Dogs just love being outside with us.  Walking on leash is OK but they are most joyful when our walks are to off-leash areas.  I love watching them as they explore, sniff, greet and play.  Their simple happiness is infectious.

I take our two youngest, Buffy and Sooki, to the Saturday morning dog group at Point Pleasant Park to  socialize with people and other dogs.   And besides ...  it's a lot of fun. 

We are working on improving the leash training of the three younger dogs but there is no denying that they'd all much rather be off leash and romping around, exploring the woods, meeting other dogs or chasing a ball.  

Our latest drill involves commanding each dog by name.  Imagine four dogs sitting in a row and you call ONE particular dog.  So I bark the dogs name and "come".  "Trey -- COME".  Wendy sits there.  Trey rises.  Chandler stands up and Sooki strolls toward you.   I drag Sooki back.  Tell Chandler to sit down.  "Trey -- COME" and we have victory.  The others are catching on.  Sometimes I'll blurt out nonsense words like "Window COME"  or "Buttercup COME" to teach them to listen only for their own name.

Waiting to be called to get leashes on. 
Sooki was just a baby in this shot from last winter so she's wearing two coats.
 Trey, Sooki, Chandler with Wendy behind

It's just wonderful going for walks with friends.


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