June 25, 2014
Today didn’t start out as a great day, but it ended just about as good as it gets.
We had to walk early this morning because today was a volunteer day. That means I had to get up at 6:30 to take A.J. out. He was pulling a lot on the leash. I tried to correct him, but I wasn’t doing a great job, he just kept trying to pull a little. Then we saw a dog coming with a jogger, and they turned onto the trail and came up behind us. A.J. was pulling at the leash, and tried to go see the dog as they passed. I correct him, but he wasn’t paying attention, and after they passed he was really pulling hard, trying to follow them. I finally just abruptly changed directions, which automatically gives him a tough correction. We walked back the way we’d come for a little bit, then turned back around.
He did pretty well after that until a bicycle passed us. He left his line and went out to try to meet and follow the bicycle. He got corrected again. So all in all not his best morning, at least not recently.
We took him for a walk this evening, and while he started trying to pull a little again, we wound up having a dream walk. First we went to the school next door. Just as we were walking by the baseball fields some people set off some rockets that had little parachutes that floated down. A.J. was excited to see the rocket and the kids running after the parachute, but the noise didn’t scare him and he stayed near us without pulling much.
After that we walked down to a nearby neighborhood. As we were walking through the neighborhood I realized someone was yelling, and I turned to see a little girl running down the street yelling at us “Can I pet your dog?” We turned around and I told her yes, and I told A.J. to sit. She was only about five or six years old, and A.J. sat nicely while she petted him and asked questions about him. Then her four-year-old friend came up and asked “Can I pet your dog?” Greg freaked her out by saying “No,” but I assured her he was teasing and she could pet the dog. A.J. tried to get up and scoot over to meet her, but I told him again to “Sit” and he did. So he sat nicely with both girls petting her. Finally one more even younger little girl came running up: “Can I pet your dog?” Suddenly A.J. is surrounded by three little girls, and getting all sorts of attention. He did GREAT. Finally the parents walked up and we talked to them for a little bit. One of them petted him. His only slip was that he stood up when the parent came, and when she was done petting him he jumped up on her. But he did so great with the girls, I was very proud of him.
The rest of the walk home was wonderful. We passed some other dogs and some bikes and he barely noticed. Towards the end he was walking with a completely loose leash, I hardly even noticed he was there.
This is the dog I was hoping for. Last night on our walk we stopped twice to talk to neighbors. A.J. gets a ton of attention wherever we go. So we’re out having nice walks and talking to our neighbors, and A.J. has been fabulous. Yay!