Bird in Hand Farm

Bird in Hand Farm is an imaginary place.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Walking the Dog

Have I told you about Darwin?  Darwin is a rescue.  He had been picked up as a stray in a neighboring town.  We adopted him from the CNYSPCA this summer.  I don't even know why I was looking at dogs on their website.  We were not looking for a dog.  I loved his face.  I had to go see him.  Of course, everyone else wanted to come too.  He was the only dog in the shelter who was not barking his head off. 

We thought about it for a day and I listened to "Can we get him?" about a thousand times.  I thought that a dog would be a good addition to the family and that we might get some more exercise by taking him for walks.  The farmer stopped by the SPCA on Monday morning to check on their adoption process and 40 min later he and the dog were in the car on the way home. 

Darwin is very sweet tempered.  He is occasionally very silly.  He loves the Farmer.  He has two speeds: slow and stop.  His favorite thing to do is to take a nap.  He is essentially a 72-pound throw rug.  The vet says that he is at least 8 and likely older.  He is a true mutt.  He appears to be a combo of: a basset, spaniel, lab, and one of the great breeds (saint or Newfoundland).

Walking Darwin is not fun.  He pulls.  He sniffs.  And sniffs.  And sniffs some more.  Occasionally he catches a scent of interest and lunges at it.  He pulls so hard that he coughs because he is putting pressure on his airway.  I tried stopping every time he pulled.  It took 45 min to go 9 houses.  I know it would have gotten better, but I'm not that patient.   He is too big to be that badly behaved on a leash.   So much for getting a dog and getting more exercise.

A friend suggested the Gentle Leader Headcollar.  When we went into the store, he was pulling so hard, he was skating.  Almost as soon as it went on, he became a calm, obedient, responsive dog.  It was
transformative.   Amazing.  "Who are you, and what did you do with my dog?!"  Today's walk was the first time he made it to the corner without peeing on at least 4 different things.  The Farmer actually had to stop and encourage him to sniff around to see if he wanted to go.  He came home looking very happy and quite pleased with himself.  I think this is one of the best pet products we have ever tried.  If you have a dog who pulls, try it.  Tell your friends.  Darwin will be going on many more walks.

Other stuff:

Dina is hosting a giveaway on her blog.  Go check it out.

I'll give you an apple abuse update tomorrow.  Progress is slow.

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