Monday, February 06, 2012
I was thinking about how when i first got our puppy @ 3 and 1/2 months of age, she was skittish and afraid to go on walks. She would plop her butt down every time we saw a car drive by, or a person (even if they were a block away.) I was lucky if I could get her to go for a 3/4 of a mile walk. While the weather was still warm, I took her on many short walks....sometimes just around the block. I even got her one of those Thundershirts, to help her with her fears of ordinary car noises. It really did help.
As she got older and the weather got colder, I started using a heavier doggie coat on her that I had made. She grew out of the first one, and needed another. There were days I decided that, perhaps, she would be fine without the Thundershirt.
Over time, she got used to going for our regular one mile walk. She is used to ordinary car noises, but she still will plop her butt down if a person passes us on the sidewalk. She will bark at them if they don't greet her.
But, if they talk to her and approach her, she is happy about that. Sometmes she tries to charge after certain makes/types of cars. I'm left wondering about her younger days, before we got her. Makes me wonder what she was chasing. The guy who took care of her simply said that she is really smart and she obeyed him when he said "stay out of the road". I'm now left wondering if it was her running after cars that made him say that to her in the first place.
Anyway, here it is that she is almost a year old. I just took her on a walk that was nearly 4 miles. I have no doubt that she could go as far as I am willing to go, with no problem. I read in my Dog Fancy Magazine that 66% of all walks that dog owners go on are instigated by their dogs. I am NOT at all surprised at this. This is why they say that a dog is your best exercise buddy. They will remind you of when it's time for a walk, and they don't hear excuses.
Just like my puppy, my habits are more easily changed when I take baby steps. I have only to look at her and think about how she has learned how to take these walks with consistency. She still has more to learn, and she will as we take our lessons one step at a time....one walk at a time.