Friday, March 13, 2015

A hands-free lead? I think maybe not.

My Man has often asked why I don't invest in a "Human-Dog Running Lead/Harness" type vibe for when I run with the dogs. The type that has a waistband for the runner and the lead is attached to the waistband so you can run hands-free. In theory it sounds like a good idea - but in practice, maybe not so much.

The day before yesterday I took Jack for a short run and suddenly his ears pricked.  He just stood and looked down into the dip. I stopped and looked, but saw nothing. He was rooted to the spot, then suddenly, with no warning at all, he just lurched off down the side in hot pursuit. There, four beautiful deer, who realised they had been spotted, fled. I was left with an arm-ache, heels dug in, and a good view of the deer darting up the other side.

Then yesterday, I took Tigger along a different route, and as we rounded a corner, I saw the most lovely fox. I have seen one before but not like this. It was sitting just up the bank overlooking the path I was walking on. I was walking toward him. He saw me and I saw him. Tigger was blissfully unaware at that point. However, I knew what would happen so I slowed us down to almost a stop to give the fox a chance to slip away up the hill without being seen. The fox however, had other ideas and as I stopped, it sprang off the side and into the middle of my path. At that moment Tigger spotted it. There was about 20m between the two of them. The fox stood there and looked at Tigger and Tigger just stood there and looked at it. For about 5-10 seconds, time froze and I thought, "Hey, she is being so good!" - at the same time as I thought that, I think Tigger thought "Oh crap - a fox!!!" and she just went crazy, began yelping and then took off like a bullet. At that point "Oh crap - a dog" may have entered the fox's mind and it took off, running down the middle of the road for about 30m and then slipped off into the bush.  There may still be trenches down the hill of where my heels had dug in as I was dragged. Tigger is strong. I think stronger than Jack actually, so she is really difficult to hold back. 

I would not describe our dogs as reactive but there are some things that no dog can resist.
So, the long and the short of it is - if I was in a harness for either of these occasions, I would have been flying like a kite behind them.  I think I will stick to something I can let go of quickly if need be!

I love spring, everything is coming out of hiding, the birds are singing, and each walk comes with some sort of adventure!

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So, what do you think?