Puppies don't just. . .?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Let me preface this story with the fact that this is my first dog. DH has had a couple, but not me until now.

On the day I brought Ninja home I had to pick up my daughter from school. If you recall from my earlier posts, my darling pup was delivered to me at work just as I was leaving. He was little enough to fit in a small animal carrier. A friend got a ride home with me and she held Ninja in his carrier for the commute through all the traffic. We even opened it up so he could poke his head out a bit.

After I dropped off my friend, I was on my way to pick up my DD from her after school program. I thought, "How fun! I'll put the puppy on the leash and walk him to where she is and she'll be so excited!" I had the leash and a bunch of other toys and dishes and things I had been collecting for the past few days with me.

When we got there, I scooped Ninja from the carrier, set him on the ground and attached the leash to his collar. Did you know you have to train a dog to walk on a leash? What made me think I'd put the leash on him and he'd come along, I'll never know. I'll chalk it up to inexperience.

It was another cartoon character moment. I set him down, attached the leash and started off. He didn't move. I tugged a little. He dug his paws in. We weren't going anywhere, unless it was for a drag rather than a walk. So I carried him to get my DD and carried him back to the car. He was happy. He was only about 11 pounds then. DD and I spent an evening at the park with him, coaxing him to come along to treats and toys on the leash.

It didn't last long that he wouldn't go on the leash. But long enough. The weekend after he came home, we took him to Dana Point, a local harbor and beautiful spot for walking and picnicking. I walked. Ninja would either be dragged or carried. I opted for the carrying. Soon DH asked me why I was carrying the puppy. I explained he was refusing to walk on the leash. He shook his head and said, "He'll walk for me on the leash." Fine. I caught up to the kids. A few minutes later, DH caught up to us, carrying Ninja. I gave him a look that said, "So? What happened?" He just shook his head and muttered something about being tired of dragging him.

He was the first puppy to show up on a leash to puppy training with his litter mates. I remember the other puppy parents exclaiming, "Look at Ninja! He's so good!" And of course he basked in the praise (didn't hurt my ego either!). He did very well in puppy classes with sit, stay, home, and so on. I was so proud!
Now he's a champion walker. He'll even walk himself if you let him. Put the leash on and off we go. If you set the leash down, he'll pick it up in his teeth and walk. It's funny to see.
Tonight he'll go to the park with us while DS practices baseball. Those are good nights when we come home from long walks and lots of running. Then I know my shoes are safe.


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