Friday, March 5, 2010
The friendly strangers
Yesterday, the sun finally came out and it was such a relief. After a few quirks in our schedule, I decided to take Stella over to Radnor Lake. Walking there hasn't been a great experience in the past although it's beautiful, there are lots of deer and other critters and I suspect that the smells are overwhelming to a young dog. Stella has a way of forgetting everything she ever knew about manners and walking in general when we go there. It's one of a few situations where I am nothing more to her than an anchor.
Yesterday was a little different, with one exception. We've been working on the portion of the CGC test where we greet a friendly stranger. While we've been doing this unsuccessfully for some time, often our difficulties come when the stranger is too friendly. You wouldn't think that would be a problem but it sends Stella to the moon. I haven't been able to direct this interaction as much as I'd like to since I know these are really nice people who just want to pet the dog. I refuse to start off by lecturing them about their approach. Not only that, I've learned these last months that the world is filled with exuberant baby-talking dog lovers and that's never going to change. People coo at her from open car windows until her butt starts wagging and she just about pees herself. I'm not complaining at all, really - there are worse things.
Anyway, it always seems to end with her trying her best to decorate them with her muddy paw prints. This scene repeated itself yesterday. I said "sit". She ignored me completely. I said "sit" again, she didn't. I showed her a piece of a hot dog I had in my hand and said "sit". Nothing. She just wanted to meet the new person who was busy telling her how beautiful she was. Beyond that one incident, I have to say she was much improved over last time we came here. There were dogs and bicycles and photographers (seemingly) hiding in the woods. The only thing she got locked onto was a family of peacocks and who could blame her for that? I would've taken a photo except that um... I was attached to a big nutball dog.