I’m feeling a bit teary-eyed as I reflect on yesterday’s walks with my boys and after having read a few archived posts. As Ray and I have been perambulating around the neighborhood lately and I’ve been marveling at how well we’ve been progressing, I’ve secretly been dreading knowing that Julius needs leash work. Badly.
The last time I took Juli for a walk, the muscles in my back and arm got a darned good work out, so I was hesitant to take him out again. Which means he wouldn’t get training and practice, which means I wouldn’t want to take him out…so he wouldn’t get practice…
So what would someone do if they, say, had a dog who used to be a nightmare to walk and one who still is? Oh, and the combined weight of those dogs was, say 160 pounds of big muscles? Surely the sane person wouldn’t decide to walk them together!
Well, fully expecting that Ray’s good manners would osmosize to Julius and that this outing would be a short disaster, I leashed up the dogs and set out down the block. And it was bad. The good news though is that it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated, so I thought about what the challenges were and brainstormed my new game plan.
Julius pulls and skitters back and forth across the sidewalk which made for a tangle of legs and leashes. I had them both on just their martingale collars with my double clip Freedom leashes. Clipping Juli to Ray was a bad idea, clipping the leashes together to make a longer one was a bad idea, walking in the heat of noon was a bad idea, walking home while it started to rain was a bad idea.
Fully heartened by the midday walk being less of a failure than I anticipated, I decided to take an evening walk with the boys, Asia, and the baby (because we’re all about the distractions.) Reevaluating the hook up situation, I knew Julius needed his harness back on, but previous outings didn’t make for any less pulling and though I was using the stopping method, it was going one step at a time. After clipping the leash front, top, to this, to that, we finally figured out that using his Freedom harness and only clipping to the front worked wonders. The walk actually went so well that we went further than planned and were rewarded with tired, happy dogs upon the return home.
I fully intend to make this a regular part of our routine and believe that a happy ending is in sight.