Today the human members of the family were finally feeling better and we
actually had some sun this afternoon. So I decided to take all of us to a
local day-use area to walk around, have fun and work on Django's
socialization (which has been somewhat neglected this past month).
Django started off the trip trying to climb out of the back of the jeep and
into the front seat. Which would have been ok except for his lack of regard
for the three children in the backseat. Stop the car, put me in the back
seat and one kid in the front next to my dh. Ok, now that Django had his
security blanket (me) in the big scary Jeep (which he'd never ridden in
before) and Babe telling him off every two minutes, we were on our way.
We got to the area, a big pond with biking, hiking and strolling trails.
I've avoided this so far with Django because it's VERY overwhelming. Lots of
people, dogs, ducks, beaver, geese, fish, turtles, hikers, bikers, loose
dogs, you name it. Babe loves this place unless there are too many loose
dogs, then she feels the need to round everyone up, line them up and make
them march! Django hit the end of the leash and pulled like a train. We're
still working on leash manners. I was impressed, though, that a few low-key
"Knock it off"s were all that was needed to make him pull less. Every so
often I would call Djang back to me or get his attention. Then he got a
tasty treat. He watched Babe very closely to see what to do...she walked
along politely on a totally loose leash, looking unconcerned by the amount
of activity around her. Usually she pulls or whines a little at this place
but she was on her best behavior to show up The Uncouth Youth. LOL!
We walked about a mile on the strolling loop, passing children, people
fishing (that fascinated Django!), Canadian geese and ducks. Django took one
startled sniff of his very first bridge, then just carried on after I said
"Let's go!". I was very proud of him. He barked at one man who was crowding
us on the path but stopped after I told him "Knock it off" and just kept
walking. Halfway around we approached two men who were down an embankment,
almost in the pond. They were trying to get hold of a Muscovy duck and get a
fish hook out of its bill. The ducks were having none of it, so the men
climbed the embankment to get back to the trail. The second guy climbed up,
face level with Babe and stopped dead, staring her in the eye. Babe lowered
her head, flattened her ears and gave him the "Do you feel lucky, punk?"
growl.My husband was holding her leash and he had our youngest child on his
shoulders. No way was that guy going to get past Babe. He was Acting
Suspiciously. The man moved on briskly, Babe settled immediately when I said
"Good girl! Let's go!". Django watched intently.
Later Django took in a whole line of bicyclists, all walking their bikes
across a long bridge. We were standing to the side to let them go by. I had
Django's collar, just to keep him from dashing over to the people and
knocking them into the water (no railings on this bridge). My attention
wandered and I turned my head to check on the kids, standing further down
the way, with my dh and Babe. One biker decided to pet Django and didn't ask
permission. I heard a deep, serious growl from Django and whipped my head
around. The biker decided not to pet the growling dog. I told Django to
"knock it off" and had him sit behind me. The growling stopped. Tail wagging
ensued. I asked the rest of the bikers to just say hi to the dog but not pet
him and offered Babe as a petting subject. She was less than thrilled, but
put up with it. Django watched. The next time we saw the bikers, they were
sitting down with their helmets off and I nearly had my shoulder dislocated
as Django tried to get over there and say hello to the nice people.
We got home sweaty and exhausted but had a great time. Now I can only hope
that Django will be as tired as the rest of us!
The storm starts when the drops start dropping. When the drops stop dropping
then the storm starts stopping. ------Dr. Suess
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