Monday, November 2, 2009

10/31/09 Romeo Walking the Dogs

I saddled up Romeo, with my schnauzer Allie running around us. I briefly lunged Romeo (English bit) to get the fuzzies off before tightening his girth one last time. Allie quickly thought she was supposed to herd poor Romeo, and got scolded when she barked & hollered at him. She very very quickly learned to keep her little 9lb body away from his very LARGE feets.

I jumped on Romeo. I hollered, "C'mon Allie. Stay with us." I even tested Allie's sit/stay with Romeo's "whoa" before walking on. Both were obedient.

I had Romeo in one hand, watching Allie the whole time. We walked about six minutes away from home away from the paved street, and of course six back. Allie stopped for potty breaks, but pretty much stayed right with us. One time she got way behind, I stopped Romeo, and twisted back in my saddle to look behind us for her. I looked back forward, and Romeo was looking back for her as well. Cute cute cute!

I got Romeo and Allie back to the house, put Allie in her crate, stuck MacKenzie on the leash, and went back outside. Hopped back up on Romeo, tested "whoa" and "sit/stay", and off we went again.

Walking Kenzie with Romeo was a bit more challenging at first. Kenzie wasn't sure how to stay with me but out of hoof-range. Romeo by the most hates big barking dogs. So when Kenzie came to sniff him, and Romeo stopped to sniff back, I quickly told Romeo, "Whoa! Be nice!" Romeo and Kenzie touched noses, Romeo sighed , licking and chewing, and Kenzie looked at me, and sat, right on the road. Sweet!

We walked the same six out, six back, and only once did the leash end up in a bad spot. Kenzie switched sides on us behind Romeo, and tickled Romeo's toosh with the leash. I quickly halted Romeo, and wiggled the leash loose. Romeo was a complete saint! I had his reins in one hand, leash in the other, talking to Kenzie the whole trip. When we had to stop for a Kenzie-potty break, Romeo was completely compliant, and waited patiently. When Kenzie would start walking again, so would Romeo.

Got the dogs walked, I took Kenzie back inside to her crate, and told Romeo, "Good Job, buddy! Time to go get the mail, just you & me."

Well, now I know, take a napsack with me. MailLady! *sigh* I got a huge magazine, one little envelope, and two boxes of checks in the mail. And I had *nowhere* to store everything. So I folded the magazine lengthwise, stuck it in the back of my jeans, and shoved the enveloped folded in a pocket. I sandwiched the boxes of checks between my thighs and the saddle horn. *giggle* And I prayed the whole way home, "Don't spook & make me drop these checks in the mud, Please!" LOL...

Romeo gave me about an hour, all at the walk. He did great. He figured out his job walking the dogs pretty quickly, and did it well. Neat-O! I can now walk Romeo and the dogs all at once. Next steps there? Walk the two dogs together, six up & back. Next after that? All four of us will go get the mail. How's that for a nifty goal?

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