I recently saw an episode of the Dog Whisperer where Caesar Milan had on a t-shirt that said "TSCHTTT!" and after a few seconds I realized that TSCHTTT is actually the onomatopoetic word for the sound Caesar makes when training dogs. I should really say when he is "rehabilitating dogs" as he "trains humans." HA!
Anyhoo- the point of my story is that I just had a trying experience when I took the pooch, along with Marlo in her stroller, out for a walk on this glorious day in New England. It has been 13 weeks and 4 days since my last walk with the pooch (I know this because it was the day my water broke) and it was actually the first time I have been able to take Marlo for a stroll, other than running across to the convenience store to grab milk (I mean a package of ho-hos). For those of you that don't know my pooch (whose name is Ellie, but we call her pooch all the time it just stuck), she is a rescue dog we adopted almost 4 years ago from a kennel in Virginia. We got her at 10-weeks old and were told at the time she was a beagle mix and would probably be about 30 pounds. Well, she quickly sprouted these giant long skinny legs like a greyhound, and packed on the pounds, and now weighs in at a svelte 65 bones. She is a beautiful dog, and I think she knows it, as she uses those puppy dog eyes to get anything and everything from my husband and I. She has taken over all of our living room furniture (and ruined every wooden piece of furniture when she was a puppy), she always gets to have some of our dinners, and is constantly spoiled with bones and other fancy chew toys. She is and will always be my furry baby.
But on our walk this afternoon I wanted to unhook the leash and let her go on her way. I don't know whether it is because I haven't walked her in months or because she was mad that Marlo was with us, but she was pulling like she has never pulled before...zigging and zagging around the front of the stroller, behind the stroller, between me and the stroller. At one point she cut in front of us so fast that I actually ran over her back leg with the stroller, which I felt terribly about but it was unavoidable, and she let out this horrible yelp. She has never been the best walker in the world, but this was a new level of craziness. After just two blocks of this I tried to re-set her...
I brought her back next to me, put her on what I call the "short leash" (basically have her leash wrapped in my hand so it is only a few inches long) and started again. I tried to not let her get in front of the carriage as Caesar always says on the Dog Whisperer. When she would try to go between the stroller and I would pull her back and give her a TSCHTTT! We probably looked like a bunch of crazy people stopping and starting and making weird noises. At the point where the pooch pulled out into the street I decided to cut our walk short and head to the dog park. Ellie did her usual sniff butts, prance around a bit and stand in the corner routine, so we left shortly after we arrived. On our walk home she was much better behaved, but I think she was exhausted after a little bum sniffing.
I now have a new found respect for all those mothers I would see walking their dog while pushing a stroller. I used to think I can't wait for that to be me! Hopefully after a more practice we will get into a comfortable groove. At least that fresh air did some good - my girls are both asleep and I finally have some time to myself :)
Anyone have any advice about walking dogs alongside a stroller? Any experiences you want to share?
Pre-baby, I also enjoyed many a long walk - just me and the pup... in fact, I took a walk with her the day I went into labor... then I had Lexi and when spring came along, so did the 1st attempt... where Alii ended back in the house after pulling me down the driveway. Lexi and I continued. The next nice day, Alii did the same thing, so I put her back in the house and Lexi and I went out again. Three's a charm and the third time, Alii figured out that she couldn't pull me and the baby around the neighborhood.ReplyDelete
We also bought a very humane harness. It fits under her front legs, so if she pulls forward, it pulls her front paws off the ground - not painful, but very annoying for a dog who is trying to move forward and ends up on her hind legs :)