#smallstone: Walk

ringosfirstwalkRingo 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.


7 thoughts on “#smallstone: Walk

  1. Sharon

    My dogs have all been “backers” even with a harness so I finally tried a martingale type collar and they never could get out of it with a quick reverse! The Spindrift buckle-on martingale was flexible and tough and I also found some beautifully patterned martingales on dogcollarbotique.com (sounds snooty but oh so pretty and unique pattern choices!). And now it’s time to round up the rowdies and go walking!

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      We’ve had good luck with harnesses, and the SENSE-ation works really well to keep them from pulling too much, although Ringo doesn’t need that just yet. We also stopped walking on collars because with they type of cancer each of our other two dogs had, it just wasn’t as comfortable for them to have any pressure on their neck. Have a great walk!

      1. Sharon

        I have huskies and a harness mostly says… PULL! But I did use a harness on one of my huskies before and he would accept nothing else because of that SENSE-ation (nice word). He always knew where I was and how to adjust to my speed/direction with ease. The wisdom is clearly to use what works best with each truly individual pup and they’ll let us know just what that is! We had a lovely walk, thank you, and everyone is passed out around me.

  2. Rose

    I really enjoy your posts about the pups. I know what you mean, about having two pups and one not being able to go take walks. My dog, Kizzie, loves to walk, here, there, and everywhere, but my significant other’s dog, Rascal, is not able due to aggressive behavior. It really is difficult when you can’t walk as a foursome. I’m so happy for you that you’re able to do it again!

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      I know how you feel, Rose — because of Sam’s issue with his jaw, we have to carefully manage any play time, no tugging or face biting allowed, which means some of the time we have to crate Sam to give him a break, even though as a four year old he really really wants to play and be rowdy. It’s so sad.

  3. Misty

    I think there’s often a bit of a juggle when you have more than one dog. We are there now, with Sundance being unable to walk for more than 10 minutes at a time. We are working it out, but it is hard to create that new balance, that new normal, and to say “this is where we are now, and it’s OK”.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      We do a lot of shifting too around play, because we have to be careful with Sam, and because he’s so much bigger than Ringo, but that last part was true each time we added a puppy to our house where an adult dog already lived.


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