There have been a lot of kids at the park lately, which for the most part, is a good thing. Today it was a bit off-putting, when a 7 year old boy went running past, and then stopped, noticing Elka flinch. "Is she afraid?" he asked. "Dogs don't like it when you run at them," I said. "What kind of dog is that?" "She's a Doberman." And then he ran along.
Of course, Elka did some running of her own.
I was also very proud of Elka one day at the park this week. She was on the long leash, and so several feet away from me when she picked something up off the ground and started chewing it. I called "Drop it" immediately. And she did! She then ran to me, and I gave her a bunch of treats, and made a big deal about it, because I was confident she would listen to me, but also surprised. How many of us drop something that we're already chewing on? When I checked, I found it was a piece of turkey sandwich that one of the students at the nearby school had probably dropped. Good Elka!
It's also become extremely apparent that when Elka doesn't get her exercise, she gets all wound up and wanders around the house whining and driving us nuts. Frequently, the beginning of a walk is very trying, as she forgets the whole "loose leash" notion and just wants to get there, wherever "there" might be. So, the walk to the park is a whole lot of reminding Elka where I want her to walk; I think it would work out well if I remembered to play fetch with her out back with her for a little while first, to take the edge off.
I'm not looking forward to the cold and the snow, though Elka really likes the snow. There's another park in town that we haven't yet investigated, maybe we'll drive there (which sounds preposterous, but despite snow ordinances, people don't take care of their sidewalks, and I don't fancy falling on ice when attached to my 71 pound dog) and then romp about.
In the meantime, we'll take advantage of the autumn sunshine!