wtorek, 21 lutego 2023

Long walks, happy... owners

I've written numerous times how important walking the dogs is: for physical conditioning, for their well-being, for allowing them to be dogs and decompress and so on, but today I've realised - not for the first time - how good it is for me as well. I've lost a bit of joy of walking for a while, simply because I've been experiencing lots of physical pain in the previous months and sometimes walking has been exhausting. My pace and the mileage of our walks got smaller - but at least the fact that I'm walking slowly doesn't mean that my dogs are slower :P. 

I've let some petty, useless malice to get to me today. I needed to vent - which I did to my friends - but still felt it was festering somewhere in my mind.

The weather was horrible in the morning, I had to wait till afternoon for it to clear up a bit. 

But then finally I packed my dogs in the car and went to the woods and after half an hour there I became more grounded, calmer, happier. The dogs were extra good today and at some point I also realised that Maupka is growing up, I think? She spent most of the walk offleash - she recalled from a jogger and she recalled from another person with a dog, she stayed on path rather than venturing somewhere far away, she checked in with me regularly... and that made me so happy to see the progress we've made. I know we'll have setbacks in the future, but all the same that felt so good :). For months I was either keeping her on leash (I even started using flexi) which I generally hate, or just letting her off leash for short periods of time, because the longer she was free the further away from me she tended to run. We had our moments of shame, when she actually totally ignored me calling her to chase something - my bad, I normally tried to prevent that by above mentioned means. For months I was searching all the neighbourhood for places to let her off leash safely -  huge, open fields, where I could see every chasing potential such as bikers, joggers, wildlife, birds, dogs, cats, cattle etc. sooner than her and where I could see her at all times, not giving her an option to disappear among bushes etc. For months we practiced recalls everywhere, for months I was building the value of being close to me, working with me etc. Honestly, I've never had another dog that I had to work on recall so hard and it wasn't something I was expecting with a Pyrshep, as most of them (well, except for puppy Zelda) are velcro dogs - I literally couldn't take proper picture of Brava for weeks when she was a puppy, because I only had zoom lense and she was always under my feet :D. So, here's the adult little lady, who is bringing me so much joy in general, but today especially: 

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