Monday, February 4, 2013

Weekend Update

Saturday was beautiful.  Warm and full of sunshine.  I ignored the work at home and took the dogs for a walk in the afternoon.  It was wonderful, and nobody got hurt!

As I've mentioned before, Thumper is a handful when he's on a walk (or pretty much any other time, I guess).  I've had a couple of incidents with him recently that have left me a bit wary of taking him for a walk:
  • First, I took him to the vet for a checkup, and before I could get the door open good and grab his leash, Dumba$$ jumped out of the car and took off running across the vet's parking lot, which is on a very busy street.  I chased after him, finally caught him by stepping on his leash (Ha!  Good thinking, I thought), which brought him to a rapid halt while I tripped head first over him, in the vet's parking lot as she was driving up from her lunch break, no less.  Beyond the embarassment this entire sequence of events caused me, he then wiggled out of his harness as I was trying to gather my wits and get my head to stop spinning (a fall like that is really disorienting when you are older than 2, I guess).  We (the vet and me) finally got him to calm down, at which point I realized I had REALLY banged up my knees.  This is the reason I had to stop training for the 5K that is THIS WEEKEND.

  • Second, after taking a couple of weeks off for my knees to feel better, I tried to resume walking with him.  Thumper is the best running/walking partner...he doesn't fade after 1/2 mile like Lightning does.  So off we go one night, Thumper in his harness, me holding the leash, for our "test" session.  About 3 blocks from home, he decided to go mark a light pole, and he walked around the light pole and got himself tangled up.  I was completely unprepared for what came next - when he sensed he was "caught", he freaked out, started jumping around, and got out of his harness again.  I jumped forward, intending to grab him by the collar and calm him down, but I ended up on my knees in the street, comforting a freaked out dog.  That was the second reason I had to stop training for the 5K, and was pretty much the last straw in me walking him for awhile.
So this brings me to Saturday, when I had devised a way to handle him if he managed to get out of the harness (his regular color comes off his head even easier, which is why I still prefer the harness).  I remembered from obedience training with Lightning, using a long line.  I even found the long line I'd used with him, and took about 20 feet of it, and tied it to slip collar for Thumper to wear on the walk, in addition to the harness.  My plan was that if he got out of the harness with the 6 ft leash, I'd still have the 20 ft line and the slip collar as backup.  :)

It worked well.  I was less worried the whole time.  Yay.  He was still a handful (so much energy!), and I found myself looking at the two leashes connected to him as he bobbled ahead me.  The things we do...I had to laugh when I thought, "So this is how the balloon walkers in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade feel when they are tethered to the Snoopy balloon!"  haha..

Thumper started obedience training this week and is doing better already.  My dog trainer friend thinks he may have a future in agility.  Notice she didn't say "Obedience"?

Have a good day.  Hope your weekend was wonderful.


  1. Have you tried a Martingale?

    Love this post - you had me laughing so hard! I especially loved the vet incident - although I am glad that he didn't run into traffic. I always worry about that as my vet is on a very busy street too. Although B isn't quite the handful yours is! Don't worry - that training will pay off in no time!

    1. Hi, Blueberry's human,

      I will look into a Martingale. Life with him is an adventure. He makes me laugh more than any other dog I've ever had. I never know what he's going to do next. Have a good day!

  2. We are sorry, i'm afraid I was laughing also. We are also really glad he did not run into traffic. Oh the things we do to get them exercise. Have you ever tried a gentle leader? That's what our 2 boys use.

    The silvers and more

    1. I will look into the Gentle Leader too. Do you have trouble with your boys trying to play "chase" while wearing one? My only concern with a gentle leader is that he might try to chase after something while wearing oneand hurt his neck.

    2. The gentle leader goes around their nose, and neck,it makes it kinda hard to pull they don't like the way it feels when they pull. They did pull awful before we got them, but they are great now. My concern would be maybe they are not strong enough for him, since he likes to chase. Most of them are thin because they go around the nose.

      The silvers and more

  3. Sherri....
    I've been a stranger in these parts of Blogville, lately!! It feels so good to be back!! ;-D
    Oh, my goodness!! That first story was scary for me to read!! I am glad that you are both alright!! ;)
    Is Thumper's harness on tight enough? You do not want it too tight, of course!! I have never had a dog slip out of her harness before!! ;)
    "So this is how the balloon walkers in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade feel when they are tethered to the Snoopy balloon!"!! Crack. Me. Up!! ;op