Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Doggin' It, Doggone It

Most dogs that have never been leashed show it when you put them on a lead. They are constantly pulling you one way or the other, right?

Not this guy. You'd swear someone taught him how to "heel." On a leash, that is.

In recent years I've never walked a dog on a leash. Hell no. I've seen people walking on country roads with their dog on a leash and thought, shaking my head, that they clearly had no idea that a rural road is a perfectly safe place for an off-leash dog and were being over-cautious city folk.

So judgy.

Now I have learned of at least three good reasons why you might walk your dog on a leash, even on a rural road:

1. It doesn't always keep up with you as it explores the ditches, and if it's a small dog like Ducky, a coyote or maybe even a fox could dash out from somewhere and carry it off. That's what Scott's afraid of, and bids me keep Ducky close. I'm not good at that, as I tend to forget about him and by the time I remember, he's a quarter-mile behind, sussing out something in the grass beside the road.

2. Your dog spots some wild animal and takes after it, and doesn't listen when you call him back for his own safety. That wild animal could turn on him or lead him far enough away that he could get lost, and you, running behind, will never catch up in time.

3. A vehicle is coming so you call your dog to your side and he trots along next to you until the moment when the vehicle reaches you, when the fool animal dashes out in front of it. My dogs have done that a thousand times. We are fortunate in that most everyone who drives along our road slows down to a crawl to make sure they don't run over the dogs, but sometimes it's someone who doesn't.

So, while it feels silly to walk on our road with Ducky Doodle on a leash, those are my reasons. He makes it easy and he's safe; I don't have to worry about where he is. Win-win.

It's another perfect fall day and Mr. Doodle and I are about to head down the road to take advantage of it.