A.J. Meets Gracie

June 15, 2014

Father’s Day. We had a great day today. We went on the same hike we did on Mother’s Day. Once again, A.J. was fabulous. He met all dogs, both on and off leash, calmly and nicely. When a couple of people stopped to pet him he just wiggled happily and let them pet him. Bikes went by with no problems. He still pulled on the leash a lot, and I couldn’t get him to stop even with the advice Jerry had given me, but overall my little boy was fabulous.

We kept the hike short because there were burs and cheatgrass everywhere. We kept having to stop to clear his ears. I didn’t want to wait until we were done because I was afraid something would work its way into his ears before we got back. We definitely don’t want any ear infections. I’m not sure what we’re going to do about hiking for the rest of the summer, it just isn’t safe for dogs out here in the foothills, at least not super furry dogs who stick their heads into every bush they pass by.

Because the hike was short, A.J. was ready when it was time for his usual evening walk. We decided to mix things up and take a different route today. We were glad we did. Tonight and ran into a woman who was out working in her front yard, and as we walked up she said “Another springer.” I replied “Another one?” She got up and went to her gate and called “Gracie!”

Around the corner comes a little eight-month old springer. She came running right up to A.J. and tried to play, but A.J. was great. He sat there nicely and tried to ignore her. After a moment I told him “OK.” He started to walk away like we were leaving, but when I didn’t move he looked at me, I said “Yeah, OK!” and he and Gracie started having a great time. They immediately got tangled in his leash, so I went ahead and unhooked it, knowing that might not be the best idea.

There was a grassy area across the street, so all of us, including Theresa’s Golden Retriever, walked across the street. The dogs had a great time. I had a great time too, because Gracie is Theresa’s fifth springer, so it was nice to have someone to compare notes with. Gracie has a cheatgrass wound on her foot, too.

The dogs stayed close to us; A.J. and Gracie kept crashing into me. Then A.J. saw a killdeer. He took off. He didn’t come immediately when I called, he had to chase the bird completely away, but once he had I called to him and he came running. He even had to run past the other dogs, who tried to pounce on him to play some more, but he continued right past and came to me. When he got to me I said “Sit” and he did. Good boy!

At one point the Golden started playing a little too rough. When he did, A.J. came straight to me for help. Exactly what he should do.

What a great dog!