I just got back from a little walk with The Kids. I didn't take Ali. He was asleep and walks exhaust him these days. But I hooked up all the new kids and off we went.
I wasn't sure how it would go. Jazi has been on the leash only a couple times, and while she did OK, she wasn't crazy about it. Joey does well on a leash, but he doesn't really like to go for walks; I think his crooked front leg may bother him after a while, but I want to get him more used to it. He can manage to run the 80 feet on the deck eight or ten times or the same distance in the back yard that many, too, so I really think he can walk a quarter mile with us. Sam still doesn't like the leash, but I thought he might do better with the other dogs alongside, doing the same thing. Max is never a problem, as he loves to go out on the leash or without but he has no boundaries off the leash.
It went better than I imagined it might. Sam was a reluctant, or semi-reluctant, participant at first. He walked along, sorta, but was behind us and while not stopping, he was moving, uh, without gusto. The other three were fine, and were exploring their world, especially Max. He ran ahead and from side to side, sniffing and looking. A bird flew across the road ahead of us, and he was completely heads up. He didn't fight the leash at all. When he came to the end of it, he simply change his direction or dialed his speed back a little.
After a while Jazi began to follow his lead a little, exploring right and left. She usually stayed a few steps behind me, only occasionally moving in front to see something. She was easy on the lead, once in a while getting her line wrapped up with another, but didn't pull or tug at all.
Joey was also fine. He also heels for the most part, and is usually content to just trot along at my pace most of the time. When we turned to come home he began to lag as we went up hill. But he essentially kept up with us.
And Sam .... my leash hating rebel! After the first 50 feet or so when he was walking but keeping the leash as taut as possible behind me, he began to walk beside me or just a couple steps behind. Then about half way through our walk, he suddenly began to follow Max. He still didn't look like he was joyous over this activity, but he wasn't exactly hating it, either! At least I didn't feel as if I were forcing it down his throat any longer. He remained in this slightly-better-than-neutral mode for the remainder of the walk.
I feel like this is a huge step forward, especially with Sam. I'll keep taking them out for leash walks every two or three days, and I suspect that within a couple weeks, they will all be ready for taking a road trip with me. I don't have one planned until late October or November, but it is good to know that it might not be a trip from hell!
Jazmyn is a creative little thing. If I block them in an area, she can almost always figure out how to escape. She finds a loose corner and slithers through, then the boys follow most of the time. They don't figure it out on their own, however, as often as she does. A couple days ago I was getting ready to go outside to work, and I usually take The Gang to the deck so they can watch me, have fresh air, and play. She didn't want to go out with The Boys, so I decided to leave her inside, curled up on the couch as she was.
Around forty-five minutes later, I heard her barking, and I thought "Oh, now she wants out." But I decided to just ignore it and finish what I was doing. To my surprise when I returned to the deck, there she was with the boys! I wondered how she managed to get out, and it was when I went inside, telling them to stay on the deck that I discovered her secret. After I was in, before I took five steps, she was at my heels! What???
Welll. Turns out that while she was in the house, she apparently decided she wanted to be on the deck with the boys. She probably started scratching at the screen, and in the process, she loosened the screen. The cord that holds it in the groove was loose, and one corner of the screen was free. She created her own doggie door!! I've put the screen back in, but without one of those little roller tools, it isn't very tight, and she simply keeps popping it out! The boys haven't learned to use it quite like she does, but once is a while one of the goes in or out. I guess I may as well give up for now. The glass will be down soon as the weather is already cooling.
Over the weekend Linda was at an art fair. They provide a dinner for the venders and artists, and since her boyfriend was out of town, she invited me to go with her. I had a very good time, talking with artists I know who were there. It wasn't any spectacular event, but one I enjoyed very much. I'd been working in the yard on the thistles and I was a bit tired, and that made a nice ending for the day.
The potluck has been moved to Wednesday this week, so I'll be going there. And on Thursday I'm going to a dinner with another of my friends, the one who was so ill and lost most of her vision. That's good! I won't be trying to figure out what to fix for one as often this week! That's always a good thing! The potluck isn't a bother because I can make a normal sized dish!
My days continue to be spent in the battle with thistles. I'm nearly in control of it now. I can't stay out there for more than a couple hours, even if the weather is mild. Even a little heat coupled with the labor is a killer for me. At the end of today, I looked at what is left, and I figure I have about three or four more days. Then I will have to stay on top of it, putting RoundUp on the new plants until they freeze for the winter. Then, next spring, I have to start as soon as there are little plants popping up. I figure it will take me about three years to get ahead of this. I'm paying my dues for letting them get out of control. arrrrggghhhhhh.
OK, I gotta fix something to eat. I think tonight will be a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. It's raining again, cool, and it just sounds very good! Later!!