Dallas and I got up early this morning to go for a much-needed two and a half mile run/walk. I strapped on her little backpack with water bottles in the pockets to tire her out faster. She has boundless energy so anything we can do to sap some of it makes our days a little easier.
I don't always like taking Dallas out because she misbehaves so much with me. She tends to meander, sniff and pee which is fine, but any time she sees another dog she goes bonkers.
This is usually how it goes: We're walking, and I see up ahead that there's another person with a dog (sometimes there are two or three and even FOUR dogs- when I see this I almost give up and go home). As we approach the other party, I can feel the leash get tighter and see Dallas's ears perk up. At this point we usually pass to the other side of the street. We're fine, the other party is fine, but the leash is still tight. This is the calm before the storm. Suddenly Dallas jumps up and because of the gentle leader leash that puts most of the pull near her nose as opposed to her neck, she pirouettes about three times, and if she's really in a frenzy she'll spin so recklessly that she'll land her paws on my stomach and stumble over me as she clamors to catch her balance. I curse at her a few times and struggle to not look like a complete idiot (which is silly because the dog and I already look ridiculous at this point), meanwhile the other dog is oblivious to Dallas and walks by so obediently as its owner laughs nervously while giving me eyes full of pity.
This is why I don't like to walk the dog.
But this morning I discovered a break-through. Taking Dallas out first thing in the morning when she's still a little sleepy makes her behave so much better. Running with her also doesn't give her time to get crazy over something.
The true test was when we passed the two ladies that walk their five dogs every morning. As usual we passed to the other side of the street and Dallas was calm, though still curious. One of the ladies saw my unusually docile dog and joked, "Can you train my dog?" as hers was pooping in someone's yard and getting tangled up in his leash. I replied, "Oh mine's usually really bad, especially around other dogs." Right as I said that Dallas did one mini-pirouette and I said, "See?" We all laughed and they apologized, but by that point Dallas was all, 'eh, I'm tired let's just go'.
I'll take one half-hearted twirl over thirty seconds of whining, frantic spinning and embarrassment any day.