Stella needed (correction: still needs) leash training, if such a thing is possible with a bulldog. We make progress and we fall back, we make progress and…we erase the whole mess and start over again. The alternative to training would be for me to become the cart behind Stella’s horse and get dragged everywhere. That joke wore thin a long time ago. Of course, Stella still loves it.
Walking Stella became a chore rather than a pleasure and I started cutting back on the effort. We were both missing out because we both wanted to be in charge of the leash. So I became intentional about my goal. I started slow and steady. What I forgot was that Stella was intentional, too, only not in my direction.
I managed to keep her powerful 50 lbs. from jerking me off the porch steps. Yay! We walked (or rather she pulled and I held on for dear life) slowly down the sidewalk to the street. I kept her within about a foot of me. Yay! She seemed to be catching on to the idea that she was to walk beside me.
Yay! The leash slackened. We turned around and walked like a normal, sane human being…and a bulldog back up the sidewalk, up the four porch steps to the front door.
“That was great, Stella! Now let’s do it again.”
Stella faced the door, laid her barrel body down, placed her head flat on top of her front paws and said, “Nope.”
“Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.”
Psalm 32:9 KJV
Copyright H.J. Hill 2016 All Rights Reserved