Love me for who I am.

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. ūüôĀ

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.

That said, you know I am completely capable of being a lap dog, if that is what you want me to be.

You know I need your loving and caring.You love it when I cuddle up. I can do all that which I know makes you very happy. But I fail you in other ways. For that I am sorry.

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.

Maybe someday that part of my brain will recede further back. It’s not because I am not happy, nor hungry that I¬†need¬†to go hunting. You can’t blame me if the world is intriguing.

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.

Love me for who I am. And not what you want me to be. Some day I might just get it right.

Or maybe I am simply a runner. And I may never change. It’s all that combination of terriers in me! ūüôā

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.

7 Comments

  1. Eppie Dyann Giles

    You have his love. You are his protector. Enjoy him.

    My puppy has never been wild never had to protect herself or been hunting yet she will run when off the leash.

    Some are just runners at heart.
    And even though her run ends with being back with me it scares me evert time with people and cars every where.

    I love her and would not change her personality for anything.

  2. Laura Cordovano

    My terriers have all been runners. I know the feeling of your heart in your mouth not knowing if it will end badly. So many friends and strangers have helped me hunt them down or chase them. I’ve been called by a local school where they ended up in a math class, a farm where they were terrorizing the horses and covered in manure, a Sunday open house way up a hill and across many roads where they just strolled in, I had to call the fire department once because one managed to climb on a tree and was suspended 30′ over the ground…I could go on and on. It has always been an adventure to say the least. I loved reading your post. Your eloquence is so heartfelt and appreciated. ‚̧ԳŹ

    • Miss Darcy

      Your terriers made me laugh out loud! Thank goodness I only have one monkey!!!! Thank you for your beautiful words.

  3. Karen Penrose

    We call it “cat brain” when Ziva takes off. We no longer let her off leash in public spaces. Instead we boyght a 5 metre retractable leash which gives her a chanch to run some distance. Ziva is lucky tho as ar home she has a back garden to run in, chase birds and lizards. We call it “border patrol”. Ziva looks so like George.

    • Miss Darcy

      I so wish we have a tightly fenced in back garden to let him run to his heart’s content – though when I have put in in such spaces he spent all the time sniffing and checking out places where he can escape!!!!

  4. Ruth Tinney

    I had a Jack Russell terrier who would run and not look back when off leash. Needless to say she was never off leash outside the secure backyard. My boy Niles was very good but I never felt comfortable letting him off leash. I just can’t get over the fear of what might happen. You are Georgies protector and I think a long retractable leash like Karen has for Ziva might be the best day to let him run with control. I would also use a harness so he couldn’t accidentally slip a collar. George sure was a lucky boy when you found him but I think you’ll agree May that you and Darcy were equally lucky when you found each other. I love your writing and look forward to each adventure xx

  5. Lisa King

    I love your stories about George because he looks just like Buddy, my rescue dog that I showed you a photo of on The Cockapoo Community.

    Buddy has been a challenge. From being terrified of human touch to getting past that with a great behavioral dog trainer in our home to slipping his collar in a panic last summer and running down a city street into traffic. It was at that moment, when I was trying desperately to get him to come to me and not get hit by a car (with me watching!) that I realized how much that little fellow means to me. I finally managed to get him to return to his carrying crate because he had learned that was his safe space. I cried the whole way home realizing how close I had come to losing him. I realized then that Buddy would never be like ‘normal’ dogs (but then, Bailey the cockapoo has terrible recall too). I made peace with that, knowing Buddy will never be the model dog park dog. But knowing also he is probably the single-most greatest accomplishment of my life. I have given a dog that had no love a good home, hugs, and a best dog friend to play with. A dog that might otherwise have been euthanized or returned to the shelter by an adopter with less time to dedicate to helping him recover from his traumatic past. You, too, have done this most wonderful thing with George. He may never be like other dogs but that is why what you have done is so great. Don’t ever lose sight of that. As you said, I eventually learned to love Buddy for who he is (George’s United States Twin). ūüôā

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