I wanted to try a full walk around the park last night with Lassie. At regular speed my route takes about 20 minutes, give or take, depending how often I let the doggies wander. There is a very popular disc golf course that basically runs the perimeter of the park, a pavilion and playground in the center, tennis courts, golf course, baseball field, basketball court and a horse shoe court. Monday nights a league is usually playing horseshoes and there is a lot of clanging. I knew it would probably take me at least an hour to make it around, but I wanted to expose Lassie to the distractions. There was a softball game going on, too, so huge opportunities here.
I brought Brett, hoping he would be a good distraction for Lassie. We got going and first up was a guy getting up on the second tee, I think it is. He threw his disc and Lassie completely freaked out. I had the leash hooked to the choke instead of her martingale collar, knowing this could be an issue. She spun around like a top. I got her calmed down and started walking again, trying to keep her moving. As I headed toward the softball game, I realized this was just going to be too much. So we turned around, crossed the street, walking farther away from the disc course. This was much more comfortable for her. We passed my house and I decided to continue down the cul-de-sac so we could walk around the pond. When we got to the pond, several kids on bikes appeared. Lassie was afraid, but not nearly as bad as earlier. The kids left their bikes in the grass to climb on a wall. I asked them if Lassie could come and sniff their bikes. One asked if she bit. I said no, but asked them to be patient and not come up to her. I explained to them that she was afraid of so many things because she’d never been out of her yard, and that I was trying to teach her that all these things don’t have to be scary. They all sat on the wall while Lassie sniffed at a bike and we went on our way. I should have taken a picture of them all sitting on the wall. I think I will start taking just Lassie on the walks. Easier to manage her fear w/o the second leash.
She appears to be house-broken. I woke up this morning to realize I forgot to gate the upstairs, so Lassie had full run of the house overnight and no surprises. Yay! I don’t think I would leave her loose in the house while gone during the day, though. She’s afraid of KJ when he comes home or appears from his room. I told him to talk to her more. Her adopters will definitely need to get her into socialization classes.