McKinley is a princess. She’s tiny, fragile and when we walk on a loose leash (sometimes it drags the ground) she manages to step on and off and keep herself from getting wound up with no supervision. The leash is only a formality. She’s eight years old now and a well mannered lady. She’s the love of my life.
Sam, on the other hand, is our young barbarian at the gates. He’s amazingly powerful for a 30 pound dog. He’s really a much larger dog on powerful but stubby legs. His body looks like it belongs on legs at least a third again as tall. And he is so excited to be out and around! OMG! It’s like Braveheart on top of the world. Freedom!!!
Sam lives life at a gallop. In fact, if I could be like Cesar and have rollerblades and let him run like crazy he’d be the happiest pup in the world. But I am old and infirm, so he has to learn to walk at my speed. And not pull.
Because of orthopedic injuries it is easy for me to get muscle stress injuries. Let’s just say I’m not the ideal Dog Mom for a powerful little guy who isn’t as well leash trained as he could be.
Sam, bless his little doggie heart, is clueless about this thing called “leash.” The short leash he came with is so short that it is almost impossible for him not to pull. I got him a longer leash so he could have some room to move around – because ya gotta smell the roses and all the other things out there. The six foot lead is better, except for the fact Sam is a barbarian when it comes to a long piece of nylon.
Sam steps where he will, paying no attention to the whereabouts of the leash. I’m sure there is a boating knot in some book called The Sam. In moments he can go from walking with a sort of loose lead to having the leash around his belly, one leg, and in a loop with itself. And does he have any idea how to step off a leash that’s under his belly? Um, that would be a “No.” Sometimes I stand with him to see if he can figure it out, but Sam is not versed in unweaving knots and tangles. No, he looks at me with pathos to rescue him from the evil nylon snake of doom.
In the end I have to let go of McKinley, grasp Sam’s collar, remove the leash from its bends and turns and then we’ve got him free and clear. Sometimes it is like shoeing a horse. I end up picking up front and back legs because it does not occur to him that my flicking the leash against that part of his foot means Pick It Up Buddy. If something interesting – another dog, a cat, a bird, anything at all – happens to take place during untangling we’re in trouble deep and Sam can end up strangling himself in his excitement.
I dream of a day Sam has a trail buddy he can run off lead with. Someone who dashes down the leafy path or around the side of a lake on a beach. They will run and play and there will be no leash involved. Or he will have a big back yard and run and run and run as he plays with his dog and human family.
It is just a dream though. He’s still waiting for his forever family. Preferably on the porch. He loves being outdoors.
Until then we will continue Sam’s dance with leashes. Although we did get permission to get a training collar for him. Yea!