On Thursday May 7 we had a full pack of dogs as we headed to Ballentree Park to enjoy the day. Our pack of adventurers included Petey the American Bulldog, Brando the German Shepherd, Bogie the Golden Retriever, Nyssa the Husky / Malamute, Logan the Goldendoodle and Winston the Aussiedoodle.
Today was a breakthrough hike for Winston. In the past he seems to think my sole purpose is to take him to the woods so he can run around as he pleases. Today he realized I’m also there to look after him (and the other dogs). I’d first let Winston off leash with the other dogs. He resumed his usual pattern of running around the dogs and ignoring me. Unfortunately he got his foot stuck in a grate as he was running around. Luckily I was right beside him and was able to get it out quickly and calm him down. He was more frightened then hurt. I kept him on leash until his energy mellowed out then let him off leash. He went to explore with the other dogs, but without his usual obsessive intensity. He came back to check in with me often throughout the walk. It was really great to see and he got lots of extra praise and pets.
Logan has also been a great help. When I first started walking with Logan he was very similar to Winston. Super eager to meet and play with any dog he saw, Logan was sometimes a little too intense. He’s gotten really good at stopping his charge to look at you when he’s called. He’s learned that running around allowed, but mouthiness and crazy barking isn’t. He’s helping Winston learn the finer points of good group walk manners. What a good big brother.
Our other pack members were also a great addition to the walk. Brando loves doodles so he was happy to have Logan join the pack for the day as well as Winston. Bogie and Nyssa love exploring wherever we go and they both bring a nice mellow energy to the group. Petey is fighting his muzzle less and less. He loves exploring and chasing his pack mates through the forest. It was a great hike!