Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Running Again

When I got home from work, I changed my clothes and grabbed the dogs to go for a run. I decided to give Tessa the chance to run free. Over the years I've added various commands for her to follow. Because I live in the country I often run down my range road. My busy range road. So Tessa has been taught to heel to the ditch side, irregardless of what side of the road I happen to be on. She also knows "wait", "here", and "ditch". I use the ditch command when a car comes to tell her to hit the ditch. She's actually quite good at this and will swerve into the ditch when she hears a vehicle, often alerting me of approaching traffic.

I was not entirely sure of how well she'd listen off leash. After all, it has been a long time. But she was a superstar. When I called for her to wait (she's a faster runner than I am) she skidded to a stop leaving a set of elevens from her boots. She was so happy to be free she literally bounced beside me when I recalled her to my side.

Feeling adventurous I also took Reba with me. Poor Reba has had very few experiences with being on a leash and having to run beside me. At first she pulled and strained wanting to run with Tessa, eventually settling in to running by my legs. We had a few awkward moments as she tried to cross to the other side, tangling in my legs but began to learn to pay attention to where I put my feet. We were doing awesome until it was time to turn around home.

You see, Reba has always done leash work on my right side. Whoops! As I switched directions she thought she needed to stay on the same side. Unfortunately this would put her in the middle of the road. Tugging and puffing I tried to help her see she could run on my left. With worried looks she was bound and determined to run where she was comfortable. Prevailing I won the battle. When we pulled into the yard I released her. I think she enjoyed her first run even if it left her a little baffled. You could just see her wondering what her crazy human is doing.

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