Ringo accidentally went on his first walk yesterday. His new harness came in the mail and we were testing it out. I didn’t want to risk walking him just on a neck collar because he sometimes backed out of it, just like Dexter used to do. I put the harness on while Eric held Ringo, and then we put him down. For the first few minutes he fought it — backing up, biting and scratching at it, rolling around on the floor, whining and limping like he was being wounded, but then he got distracted and forgot about it.
I got some treats and clipped on a leash, walking him up and down the length of the kitchen. Just as I was about to go out in the backyard with him, I realized I could now risk taking him somewhere else, so went out to explore the front yard. Unlike our other three puppies, who were too afraid at first to leave our yard, Ringo immediately started walking down the street, wanting to explore. After a few houses, I realized I was taking him on his first walk and Eric was missing it, so we turned around. Eric and Sam were heading out on their afternoon walk anyway, so they went around the block with us. It was so nice, to be four again, walking together. Just on that short walk, Ringo saw (and sometimes barked at) a woman on a bike with a dog, lots of cars, a few people, and two dogs barking at us from their yard.
This is a big deal. Walking is our thing, it’s what our pack does and loves the most. To have one dude who couldn’t go, meaning we couldn’t ever go together, was sad, and I hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly, so easily. He still can’t be expected to go too far, but he can go.
He also figured out the Kong this week. How to hold it, throw it, get out the food frozen inside. Anything safe that will occupy his time and attention right now seems like a miracle.