Maverick pulls like a tank. He’s the lead dog and I’m the sled. No harness, collar, treat or threat will seemingly change this behavior. Some days are worse than others.
Today we walked down the hill to the creek twice with minimal pulling on the leash. We were going swimming tonight and I think he must have known because he was way too excited at the time we normally leave. There were thunder storms going on, and my friend – who was going with me – canceled. I’m not fond of taking Maverick to the pool alone, I’m not a great swimmer and if he should get in trouble, I worry that I wouldn’t be able to save him. (I’d grab a life vest and dive in, but that would probably drown both of us!) So I made the decision to go to Lowe’s and walk around instead.
He’s been there twice before, with no issues. Walked right in, walked around, didn’t pull much, was pretty much a success. I expected no less tonight.
I was wrong. He was fine for a few minutes and then he began what I call his rocket behavior. He goes from a sit to full out yank in a hot second. I did everything I could think of, walking backwards, stopping in my tracks, even getting down and telling him sternly that this was enough. Nothing helped. By the time we got to the door, I was choking back tears, and he was just flat out choking himself.
The store was full of people. Not one of them offered to help. Not one came over and tried to pet him, or calm him, or talk to us. They stood there, judging me.
Here’s a hint. Until you’ve had a puppy like this one, don’t judge. Make no mistake, I love him with all my being, but he’s a shit at times and this was one of them. My arms and shoulders are still hurting and probably will be for a few days. He does not give one shit. Did I handle it well? Most assuredly not. Pain and frustration makes me a tad crazy. Will I do better next time? And I promise you there will be a next time. I can only hope I learned something from this time, and that I will indeed be better. I can’t promise that. I’m quite used to failure in this regard.
Progress, not perfection. And keep your judgy eyes to yourselves.