“Thou shalt never ever walk off leash again!” commanded Mummy.
I know I almost spoilt a lovely day for Mummy and everyone else when I did one of my “runners” recently. I really didn’t mean to cause distress but something in my brain made me run. Something stirred my curiosity. It’s the new smells, the scents, the intrigue of the unknown that made me take flight.
But I wasn’t running away from you. I just had to investigate. I had to satisfy my curiosity.
You said I scared the daylights out of you when I ran across the road. I am sorry. I do not understand the concept of roads, of cars, of dangers unbeknownst to me. I guess if and when I did understand the dangers that they pose, it might be too late then. 🙁
We are curious creatures. Darcy runs too if her interest was peaked but she is mostly good-two-shoes and would stay by your side. But I am not Darcy.
I had a different set of in-built programming. When I was on the streets in Hungary I had no rules, at least not human rules and regulations. I ran with the packs, I learnt to take shelter and I ran away from danger. But I ran towards where there was food.
I can sometimes walk alongside you even though I do love to run freely and wildly, especially with Darcy. And then I run back to you. But there’s a part of me that is still wild and I am instinctively driven. And when I smell or sense something out of the ordinary, I regress to what I was before.
So Mummy, I do know when you are disappointed and I do know when I have done something wrong. But please don’t give up on me.
Or maybe I am simply a runner. And I may never change. It’s all that combination of terriers in me! 🙂
May’s comment: He is such a handful. I get so annoyed when he does one of his runners and put me back to where we began. I feel so discouraged that we still haven’t resolved his issues.
No doubt he has come a long way. Today he can run off his leash in the familiar parks we walk/run in and he’ll come back when he’s called. He comes back happily with a big smile on his face. And just when you think he’s doing great, his body language changes. And if I am not quick enough to put him back on the leash, his curiosity will take him faraway. He will be caught up in his world and forget his allegiance.His doing so has made it difficult to take him for walks in the park – constantly wondering when he will flip the switch and get into his feral mode. I used to think I can train him to stop this behaviour, but his recent “runner” which was so unexpected and so quick – in a flash he ran right past me, and out the garden – onto the roads. It made me think that this is a side to him that is deeply ingrained, no matter how “civilised” he had become. He is by no means a stray. He knows loving, he knows the touch of humans, he engages with humans, he knows he has food, he is completely house-trained. We have been to new and strange places where we sat together and he had not even tried to run away. He is already a different dog from when he first arrived but there’s something in his mind that keeps resurfacing – even two and a half years later.
I didn’t use to be able to let him off the leash anywhere without him running off with that wild look in his eyes. He used to just stand and stare in the distance – as if surveying the land and his whole body is in flight mode. And then he would run in one direction – forward. Me and my friends have spent much time chasing him. But these days when we enter the gated courtyard, I can take him off the leash and he would walk to our door. Before he would have been off running around the courtyard, panting heavily.A small thing but a big improvement.
So maybe I will have to resign myself to the fact that his early days have made him who he is. Such an engaging dog with humans. Such a charmer but he has an unpredictable side to him. I will have to learn to accept and always be on guard – for I am his protector.
He may never be that “perfectly” trained dog but he’s worth the heart palpitations and hair-pulling moments. For he taught me to care in ways I didn’t know before.