Sometimes we all lose the plot

Oh dear, George lost the plot, Mummy lost the plot and so did I.
Last Saturday was a misty, rainy day.  But we were going for a wash later in the day so Mummy thought we should get as dirty as possible.  img_9516Let’s go walking in the misty rain!img_9513 It is truly Autumn now … the leaves are changing colours.img_9517The park was alive with squirrels.  And off we went – running, stalking, watching – me and George both.img_9512We had a good two hours ahead of us before we needed to leave the park. Mummy was prepared and had put George in a fuchsia pink Equafleece. He wears only bright neon colours so Mummy could keep track of him darting back and forth.

Forty-five minutes before we needed to leave, Mummy thought to be on the safe side, she would put George back on the leash.  And so the whole plot started to unravel.img_9511This is what George does. He sits and waits for a squirrel. He spots one and chases it. He never gets them. He would look up the tree longingly and then sits and waits for the next.  So Mummy would go up to him and just as she is two steps away he runs off.  She tries inching up to him and just as she reaches to grab his shirt, he runs away. This goes on and on. He ran from tree to tree and then into the undergrowth which he had not done in a long while. Mummy stood an waited for him to come out.

In the meantime I too was having a ball of a time. I was hunting too while Mummy was trying to keep up with George. Then she got really mad and called me. When I went to her, she put me on my leash and together we followed George – for a whole hour!

She thought maybe if she sat down on one of the wet benches, he might come, like he always did during the summer when Mummy sat on the grass and watched us run around. But he didn’t.  She was getting desperate and called the groomers to say we will be late or maybe not make it at all. To her annoyance they asked, “So what time do you think you will get here?” To which she shouted back, “I am calling you to say that I can’t get a hold of George to bring him in!!!!! So what do you think?!?!?!

We have all lost the plot.

May’s comment: It was not a good day. I know I write with humour about George’s refusal to come back. Well, this time I was absolutely furious with him. He deliberately refused to listen and he deliberately ran away from me. I had purposefully put on his fuchsia coloured Equafleece so I can spot him better on a rainy day.  It was a battle of the wills. He wasn’t ready to leave and he wasn’t going to let me take a hold of him.  After letting them chase squirrels for an hour, I wanted to make sure we have 45 minutes before we had to leave.

I lost my cool. I called out to Darcy and had her back on a leash. I didn’t need to have to watch out for where is was.  I was getting desperate. I thought maybe I should take Darcy to the groomers and then come back to find him. I am sure he would still be staring up a tree and someone would have gone up to him and called me.

Finally another dog saw him and wanted to play.  I shouted to the owner and asked if she could get her dog to keep interacting with George so he would be distracted.  I instructed her to get close and grab a hold of his shirt. That was how I managed to put him back on a leash.

I was so mad at him.  I left them at the groomers and went away fuming with anger, but even then I knew it was really my fault.  George, like the second child did not get the one-on-one and full-on attention as I had with Darcy.  He also learnt bad habits from Darcy – he never knew squirrels before and one day he saw what Darcy was doing and joined in. He’s the instigator and whenever the two of them are together they go crazy – competing with the running. I know I owe him the time and the training on basic recall. Oh, believe me, he is completely capable of recall. In fact he is amazing! But suddenly the squirrel switch flips and he has absolutely NO interest in treats, no words like “supper” or “breakfast” which usually sends him into over excitement could have distracted his focus.

So, I can either walk with him forever on an extended leash in the park or I can teach him acknowledge my leadership and my commands.  The choice is mine.

6 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Burman

    Oh George you naughty boy!!! I sympathise May. Elsie is generally pretty good with recalls, and if she thinks I’m leaving without her she’s right there at my side, but there is the odd occasion, when the mood takes her that she will just not come when she’s called. They have minds of their own these little furry beings.

  2. SamanthaR and Lola

    Poor you May, it is so incredibly frustrating. Lola is pretty good out walking off lead, but has try and get her in from the garden when she just wants to stay out there usually hoping a squirrel or two might happen to drop in to say hi) she looks at me like I’ve fallen off another planet!

  3. Claire

    Squirrels … It’s like are like seeing a single pair of Jimmy Choos left in your size in a 70% off sale. However good your recall I am not sure how many dogs can resist! X

  4. Sharon

    I can relate to your frustration May. One of my grandogs (Spoodle) won’t let me put her back on the lead when we go to the park. I have had to enlist the help of strangers to try and grab her. I feel terrible not letting her off. I tried leaving her on the lead a few days, hoping she would have learnt her lesson. No such luck. No more off the lead for Khloe. Very frustrating when I am trying to walk three at a time. Fortunately the other two are great. It does make you angry though.

  5. Janie Instance

    Poppy used to do the same at the beach – fortunately I usually had husband and 18 yr old son with me and they would rugby tackle her to floor or simply pretend they were going for another walk – I have been on my own when she’s done it and it drove me crazy, worry that I’d never catch her and cross at the disobedience! I got puppy no 3 in May, another poo, and he seems to wear Poppy out enough that she doesn’t protest when it’s time to go home!

    • Miss Darcy

      I am relieved to hear that George is not an anomaly! Yes I had thought of rugby tackling him but I am not sure I know how to and would look really silly doing it and not getting a hold of him! LOL!!!!

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