November 3, 2011

field notes, xi-iii-xi

We cut across a hole of the frisbee golf course today, checking first to see that nobody was at the tee. At the next hole we waited politely as three gentleman finished their "putts," and then continued on our way. We said hello and smiled.

After we passed, one of the young fellows called out, "For your own safety, sir, you might want to stay on the trail over there to your left."

I smiled and said, "Thanks, Sparky. This is a drug dog. We're undercover. Mind if we have a sniff?"

(Well, OK, that's what I should have said. Instead I blurted out something lame like, "Uh, yeah, we're just taking a quick shortcut, thanks." Bluh. Oh well. At least I didn't blow our cover.)

Earlier on the trail, Ondine reacted badly to a dog who had first reacted badly to her, and we encountered them again on the way back. After both encounters I asked immediately for a short stay, which she performed quickly and attentively. A bit later we passed a woman walking two large but well-behaved dogs, and Ondine was smiling and friendly towards them. She got a treat for that.

Oh, she attacked my shoes again tonight after we crossed the street into the park, only this time, the attack was greatly escalated. I had to ignore her to get her to stop. When she learns that something is fun, she learns it instantly.

We've switched to the smallest prong collar and she's doing OK with it. She lunges at almost every car still but she hasn't been flipping out as often. I'm working very hard on releasing all the tension on the leash the instant she stops lunging.

The take-home lesson, I suppose, between the encounters with new dogs, the stays, the shoes and the cars, is that she's freakishly responsive to her environment. (After ten months with her, this is not a revelation. It's just an articulation.)

1 comment:

  1. Oh Ondine.
    What a pretty girl, though.