April 27, 2010

Unleashed

I am the proud owner of many leashes. You might find this curious that I’m proud about my leashes, but they actually tell the story of my life (so far). My first leash was small, short, and thin. I wore it most of the time as I was taught to “leash drag” throughout the house. Apparently, this was the way my moms “reined” me in when I was getting into something I shouldn’t or refusing to come to them when they called. My next leash was red and was actually a hand-me-down leash from my family’s previous dog, Chester. The red leash is also a hand-me-down from my Grandpa’s former dog, Sasha.

Once I started my formal training, I got a leather leash. I felt proud to have a leather leash because it meant that I was a big dog since my best friend Monty has a leather leash. Of course, I ruined my leather leash eventually and then got two more. Yes two! Now don’t think I’m greedy it’s just that around the time that I got my second leather leash, we started our dog walking business so Gretchen wanted an extra leather leash for walking other dogs. It’s definitely come in handy.

I also have a recycled climbing rope leash for show, I guess; a flexi-leash (another hand-me-down from Chester); and two long lines — one that floats and one that doesn’t. Oh, and I have a leash tab, a short, cut-off leash that I wear when I’m training because it doesn’t drag on the ground, but it’s long enough that if Gretchen needs to grab me she can.

But each leash has a function. I won’t bore you with all the details, but the most important leashes are my leather leash and my flexi-leash. When I’m wearing the leather leash I know I am working. Gretchen uses it when she takes me to school and when we go on our dog walks. She can wear it over her shoulder and not really have to hold onto it and I know that when she uses the leather leash, my job is to stay right next to her on whatever side she requests.

The flexi-leash is a recent addition in my life. Gretchen doesn’t like them much because they don’t give her much control, but when it’s the weekend or when we go out for fun and NOT for work, then I get to use the flexi-leash, which means I’m not working. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like to work, but I also like to have my play time and it’s great fun to go on a long weekend walk and be able to wander ahead of everyone smelling the ground and the bushes without having to be attentive to sticking right by Gretchen’s side.

Recently, Gretchen has been using the blue flexi-leash while we’re working. “Why?” I asked her.

“Well, you’re an adult dog now and sometimes I need you to help me socialize and entertain the dogs we walk,” was her explanation. “You don’t always have to be at my side when we’re working.”

Wow! I really like getting older. So many more privileges come my way.

Rosie, I’ve noticed from the pictures, has a flat, red leash. She also wears a harness, which Gretchen sometimes says she’s going to make me wear, but I really hate wearing things on my body. We’re still in negotiations about this. Even though Rosie wears a leash, Gretchen lets her leash drag when they go to play at the open fields. Rosie really likes that. She also really likes playing fetch with treats. She gets very excited when she sees the treats in Gretchen’s hand and does a lovely play bow and retrieval when they play fetch.

But see the leash? Yep, it’s always there because sometimes Rosie likes to go off sniffing and the dragging leash allows Gretchen to step on it if Rosie gets any fancy ideas!

And see those gray clouds on the horizon? Well, they are getting ready to “unleash” themselves, but that won’t happy quite yet!

Zoe uses a flexi-leash and when we walk with her, I get to wear mine as well. That way Rosie and I can walk ahead, side-by-side and lead the way to the lake and park, our two favorite spots to play.

Remember those gray clouds? Well, they stayed at bay on our walk with Zoe, but they were building like you wouldn’t believe.

In the meantime, Zoe and I just watched the horizon and hoped against all clouds that they wouldn’t unleash on us too soon.

It was sunny and rain-free for the first two walks, but the skies eventually opened wide and furiously by the time we picked up Gemma and Saber.Now Gemma uses a harness and recycled climbing rope leash like mine (though I rarely use it) and Saber uses a red flat leash that we ended up buying for him because we lost his gray leash in the lake.

Oops.

While we play at the tennis courts, our leashes sit on the bench though Saber wears his because sometimes he likes to play keep away!

Speaking of lakes, the rain came down so powerfully, we didn’t get a ton of photos of our play time at the tennis courts (or pool) and when we did use the camera, it got a bit wet and started to fog up…

…hence, when Gretchen went off to walk Playa, Ollie, and Doodles, all photos had a foggy spot unfortunately.

Playa has a “girlie” leash — yellow with blue polka-dots — Ollie has a plain leash — brownish-orange — and Doodles has a fancy leash — sort of a Southwestern pattern. And yes, Doodles got to use his leash today! Normally, Doodles hides under the table or races upstairs to avoid going on a walk, but today, he actually let Gretchen leash him up and he almost happily went on the walk!

Of course, that foggy spot kind of ruined the photos, but still it stopped raining and everyone had a fun time!

I don’t really have a favorite leash, I’m just happy when one is pulled out and I get to go for a walk or on a play date. Oh, and I really like it when I’m allowed off-leash to play fetch, go swimming, or just hang out with my pals on the weekend!

Until tomorrow,

Rubin

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