Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Walk: Ellie crosses the dog park hurdle

The photo shows what has been Ellie's usual behavior near the dog park - but not today!

Happy, happy lunch time walk. The dog park had two dogs, a big red hound and a Weimaraner. Now, usually, when Ellie sees the dog park dogs, she lunges and stands on her hind legs and basically makes herself look pretty darned scary. My criterion for when I was going 'do the dog park' was when Ellie could self manage enough to walk past it with me. She sat and watched the two big dogs, so this looked like a good opportunity.

Since the little dog park adjoining was empty, I decided to let Ellie loose to sniff noses through the chain link fence. She had played so nicely with Sarah I knew that she really isn't interested in confrontations. She came when called, was calm and didn't pull on the leash, so we decided to head into the big dog park.

Weimaraner was leaving, and did some heavy growling and teeth showing as we made our way to the gate, and Ellie ignored her. (Yay!) Weimaraner person asked us to wait, so we walked a distance away, where Ellie proceeded to sit and watch while the Wei went on her way.

We went in. Toby the red hound swarmed me - my treat bag smells pretty good, but he minded his person, I let Ellie loose, and the two didn't do much at all. Unlike Sarah, Toby wasn't interested in chasing Ellie, which is how she wanted to play.

Toby went home, Ellie came to me, and we went on an Ellie walk - she gets to cruise on benches, sniff to her hearts content and roll on the grass. The only rule is loose leash - and she did admirably well.

Hooray. Many chicken brownie bits for reward.

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