Wednesday, February 9, 2011

prejudice pup

I was never a dog person.. until I got Jude last March. I immediately fell in love with him and he became my "little boy" :) Then, we decided Jude needed a playmate.. so here came Rigby in August for my Birthday. Two "little boys!" Jude is a boxer/pit mix, weighing in at about 85 pounds right now, and a little under a year and half. Rigby is an american bulldog, weighing in at about 65 pounds right now, and just turned 8 months old. They are big, big strong boys. And they really do, on a regular basis make me laugh and make me happy. Love it when they learn new things and obey. That isn't the point of this blog though. I am going to give you a peak into a walk with the boys. This isn't a normal walk with them, but with dogs, just like children I've heard, you have to be prepared for anything. Who knows what is going through their little (or in Jude's case, big) heads!

I should have known that today was a day to walk them separately when I tried to open the gate and it took a solid three or four minutes of me telling them to sit and stay. I had been gone most of the day and hadn't seen them since this morning. For those of you who don't know, mommy, or really daddy too, getting home is a big deal to the boys. They get so excited, and I assure you it isn't because they don't get enough attention. Rigby it is because he thinks it's time to eat, and Jude, well he just gets excited about most things period. Anyways, once I got them hooked on the leash (usually when I walk them both I use the coupler and connect them to each other so I only have to use one leash.. and usually Jude listens when Rigby doens't so if I just get on to him it helps Rigby to listen too) we had to sit in the yard for another good 3 or 4 minutes. Maybe even 5. They were ready to go and tried pulling on towards the road to start the walk, but heck no. I kept making them go back to the fence and sit.. then one of them would get up, so the other would get up.. a nice little cycle. Finally, they sat until I told them to come so we were off.

The first part of the walk is always rougher than the end, they are always excited and pull more at the beginning, not being bad necessarily, just pumped up and walking faster than I want. Rigby likes to run on his walks so it's always an issue getting him to slow down at first. We were having a hard time getting past that phase today so I decided to run with them to help get the energy out. That was fine until the huge concrete truck came by. Rigby has this thing where he feels he has to outrun trucks or something, so he is trying to run full speed, which is much faster than I can run. Apply the brakes too fast and your arm will get pulled out of socket. Whew. Once I get them stopped we immediately faced our next obstacle. A little annoying, loud, yappy dog that is tied up in it's front yard. I am not against dogs being in the front yard, the boys go in the front yard not even on leashes a good bit, especially Rigby. But this dog, seriously. I mean it was tied up, but it was going CRAZY. Just barking away, well, not really barking, yapping, nonstop. Jumping around. Where are the owners?? There's NO way they didn't hear it. Of course my boys notice it. Jude doesn't seem to care too much, until a bunch of other dogs start barking, then he's kind of looking around, pulling, getting excited. Rigby had decided to stop and stare the tiny dog down for a minute. So basically it's let the leash go and let the boys teach the little dog a lesson in messing with big dogs, or pull, with all my strength the dogs forward and back across the street. Made it. Whew. You'd think that'd be enough "drama" for our walk, but no. We had another obstable up ahead. And I think, well no, I KNOW this was the worst.

There is a man who lives a street up from me who is in a wheelchair. No big deal. Except that for whatever reason, Rigby HATES him. Usually if I see him out I will turn up a different street because Rigby will stand up real firm, and start huffing real loud, getting all worked up and angry. Today though, the man wasn't in front of his house where we could turn up a different street, he was up at the top of the hill of a long road, nowhere for us to go. Rigby starts his huffing and pulling backwards while Jude is trying to keep walking. Disaster already because they are pulling in different directions and are connected to each other. Well, Rigby fixed that. He pulled straight out of his collar. AKA Rigby was not attached to me at all anymore and free to do whatever he wanted. Of course I freak out. I don't know if he is going to go up to the man, if he is going to take off and run, if he will just stay beside me. I grab onto him, which is course isn't a good grip because there is nothing to grab except his skin. He continously pulls out of my grab because he's still huffing and backing up, kind of jumping, at this man. The man is just sitting in his chair watching all of this unfold. Thank God Jude decided it was time to start listening so he sat down right beside me and somehow, with one hand I managed to undo Rigby's collar and get it back on him w/o either dog escaping. I think I said something to the guy as I was walking away, but I honestly don't remember what. I was just relieved I had control of BOTH dogs again and that they stayed right with me instead of taking off or heading over to visit the man in the wheelchair. We were in the road, but thankfully there weren't any cars up that way. WHEW again.

I love walking my dogs. I have no problem walking them on my own, I'm not scared to do it because 9 times out of 10 they are pretty good. And of course, I have two big dogs with me so most people are just going to leave me alone. An occasional issue here and there with their behavior. I don't think I've ever had a walk so miserable as today's though. As much joy and happiness as they bring me, I let things like this go usually, but I don't think I've spanked hiney's this much in a lonnnnnnnnggggg time. Today they did NOT make me happy or laugh!!

2 morals of my story. 1. If you have a little dog that thinks it's big and tough, don't leave it outside by itself for fear that one day I will just let go and my dogs will step on it. 2. Don't have a prejudice dog.
Jude & Rigby in trouble.

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