Before Delilah joined our pack, Hubby, Sampson and I use to hike at least once per weekend.
Once Delilah joined the family our hiking kind of tapered off. Part of the reason was we were in the process of moving and settling in to a new home in a new town.
Then I discovered the field and trails at the top of our street and while it isn’t an off-leash park, mostly it’s only locals who frequent the area and most of them leave their dogs off-leash. Wood walking was open to us once again.
Sampson and I both adore walking in the woods. Sampson is usually a pretty good little guy, with the exception of the one time we lost him (if you’ve never read this post, at least go check out the video) and the time he thought it would be a good idea to leave us behind and go running with another pack of dogs. Typically he runs ahead a bit, but then stops to look and wait for me. Normally he doesn’t get too far ahead.
After Sampson’s ACL surgery last year, his recovery restricted him from walking on uneven surfaces, so our wood walking time dwindled down.
Delilah’s wood walks of late have become challenging to say the least. I find myself dealing with one of three problems, either she’s scarfing dog poop, causing deep revulsion for me, or she’s pulling me through the woods, causing intense discomfort.
Oh and did I mention she likes to run off? Yes, the darling Diva that lives in my house is a neighborhood trash picker. She doesn’t just run off willy nilly through the woods.
Oh no. That’s just too tame for our Delilah.
No, Delilah likes to leave the woods and scavenge for food in the places she knows will have it, people’s houses.
Oh yes, one time she walked right into somebody’s garage. WHY the hell their garage door was open is beyond me, but open it was and in she went. Thankfully I got her out of there before their dog discovered her.
As Lauren Miller noted in last Thursday’s post about her dog Zoe, “I’ve always struggled with loose leash walking with Zoe because the environment is way more rewarding than anything I could ever offer her. There are squirrels, rabbits and deer oh my and she couldn’t give a crap about what I’m doing.
You said it so perfectly, this is true of Delilah as well. She does amazingly well for the longest time and then one day, pfft, she’s gone off on a tear and I’m left in panic mode.
Last weekend I decided to change all that and in doing so, I rediscovered just how much I enjoy walking my dogs.
I decided when time allows, I will take the dogs on individual walks. So last weekend, Sampson and I set off for the woods.
We had the trails all to ourselves, we walked the trails, just him and I and it was so nice.
I kept his walk to about half an hour and then headed home.
Then I grabbed Delilah and we walked the neighborhood. We did our traditional route and Delilah wanted to continue so we did. All told we walked for about 50 minutes.
I find it’s much easier walking with only one dog, although I don’t always have the time for it, but I figure if I can work each dog individually with their triggers, eventually walking together will get better as well.
Divide and conquer?
Hell yeah, I have opposable thumbs too. 🙂
Do you work your dogs individually or is it easier for you to work them at the same time? Give me your secrets in the comments.
Alternative titles: Rediscovering the joy of walking my dogs