I am so lucky you have not seen my humans’ faces yesterday… They were really, really angry… I did it… I did my “best of the year” show yesterday evening during my walk. In all honesty, I am the one without blame. Full blame should go to my humans – they should go to school because after three years they still have not learnt a thing about me, so I might say without being the least wrong, about us doggies in general!
I am lucky in a certain kind of way that the paparazzi human had left the camera at home… So I need to make it together with some pictures I have of the place from previous walks – hope you don’t mind too much…
So I left for my evening walk with both my humans. I was what they call “electrical”, meaning that I have some kind of a weird disease that wants to sniff everything every centimeter of the way, chasing for all the cats there are on they way… Something like what my web sister Honey calles the zoomies…
This was the start…
After about a km we have a nice road that is in the middle of what it is a leftover of countryside in a village. It is so real countryside that there is a flock of sheep that also goes there to pasture.
My humans thought that getting me offleash in that place was dangerous, the sheeps were far from us, but they feared I could smell them, plus I know the place and I know they can be around. So we went a few hundreds meters further, and because I still was silly and clearly wanted a bit of freedom they thought they could let me go offleash till the end of the road.
Everything fine we were all going for our road, when a jogger came towards us. So my humans called me: I know that in that circumstance I have to come back, get to the feet position, the jogger or the bicycle goes by and than they tell me that I am free again. If the jogger is afraid they keep a hand on my collar, but I am really good I wait there to be freed again. Perfect, I do that ALL the times. Yesterday though, I had absolutely no intention to respond to the comand. NONE at all, I wanted to keep on sniffing around. Two months without an offleash walk is too much I had to have a bit of privacy in my sniffing. Plus a jogger – I do not care about him – I never go towards them so who cares, why do they bother me – why the need to go next to the humans!
Humans instead always feel guilty – not allowed to go offleash there – plus they feel sorry for people passing by – they might not like big doggies – so they used the usual trick, turn the shoulders to me and walk backwards. It worked… but it worked too much… The minute I turned the flock of sheep was getting a bit nearer still at hundreds of meters distance. I simply could see something moving far away from me. But I was free… interesting… this means I could go and check if they are really the sheep….
My humans understand and give me a sharp “COME” command. They give it twice… I pretend I don’t hear and I move a bit towards the flock… Another LUCILLE COME …. But I am still looking towards the flock… still not sure if it is there or not…
What would you have done – respond to the COME or went to see the sheep from nearer for once in your life?
Well, I tell you what I did….
I DECIDED TO GO AND SEE…. I STARTED RUNNING … I FELT LIKE A TIGER… I RUN AND RUN AND RUN… THE FLOCK WAS QUITE AWAY STILL… AT LEAST 400 METERS…. I RUN AS FAST AS I COULD! JUMPED A DITCH… WOW I CAN BE REAL AGILE! I RUN INTO THE FLOCK … SHEEP RUN EVERYWHERE …. FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE!!! I AM SMELLING THEM!!! WOW THEY SMELL REALLY NICE… I AM FREE … THIS IS HOW MY ANCESTORS MUST HAVE FELT AT THE TIME!!!
OOPS THIS DOES NOT SMELL RIGHT… WHAT IS IT … A MALE GOAT… OH OH… PLUS A BAD LOOKING MAN WITH A BIG STICK IS SHOUTING TO ME AWAY AWAY….
HE CALLS WITH A WHISTLE THE FLOCK TO GET BACK TOGETHER… NOW IT IS A FEW MALE GOATS COMING TOWARDS ME… I TURN… ONE OF THEM HITS ME FROM BEHIND!!! HEY HOW UNPOLITE!!!
I RUN BACK – NOT AS FAST – I HAVE TO GO AWAY FROM THE GOATS BUT I FEAR THE HUMANS…. WELL HUMANS ARE SURELY DISAPPOINTED BUT THEY WERE NEVER CRUEL TO ME SO … BACK TO THEM AND LET’S WEAR THE HELMET!!!!
Translation of Helmet in Lucille’s terms:
sweet eyes … the most sweet you can imagine….
ears down, almost touching the soil
walking as if a tragic disease suddenly got to the legs
walk round the humans
at each signal or sound go to the feet
swap from sit to down position to see which suits the humans better
apply everything I learnt up to now at the maximum level (perfect heeling and response to comands)
So, now that you know my truth, do you really believe I was naughty? I think I am an adorable creature… I did come back to them, just did a little diversion to check things out and report to them, what is wrong about that?
Ok, I took my time to check things out, but with the help of the male goat and the shepard I found my way back!
Right – now the human wants to talk to you – she is really depressed… I do not know why – since they also had the chance to talk to the shepherd before, they seemed very friendly to eachother (up to yesterday)… we are friends… or should I say… were…? And why my humans seemed so ashamed?
Hi, it is Nicoletta now…
Yes, Lucille is right, I am really depressed. The only real command I always wished I could teach to my dog is the recall command. I would love to have a military response to the COME comand, but I guess that not being military at all with Lucille cannot be a good starting point to have a good recall (?). Don’t know if I can really excuse her for the fact that the flock is a really true distraction. I do not excuse myself – that is for sure.
You know, I have been looking for a school in my area that would help me with my “have a good recall” dream to come true. I mean, all dogs do the recall if they are at school, in the camp. After a while they look as if they are on an autopilot. I never found help instead in doing it with real distractions. What about the lecterature you find on the books of the camps where you practice with kids in the field and outside the fields (more important), with bykes passing by, cars passing by, people, other dogs, off leash dogs??? Is this a dream? If it wasn’t for Honey’s human to show it with her being in the video I would tell you noone has the guts to do it for real. I guess it is high time that I start from scratch to organise it myself with the help of some friends. Wish I lived in Auckland and could go to ask for Flip’s help.
Have you ever been so disappointed by your dog? Give me your shoulder to cry on please…
Well – enough for the sadness – we know what we are going to do in the months to come … a lot of work … a lot of practice!
Any suggestion you can give me and Lucille it is highly appreciated, even if you think that I have no right to ask her to be responding when there is such a strong distraction. Had I, being the human with a supposed higher level of intelligence, to keep her on leash? When is it that you can really trust them off leash in a different situation that a dog training camp?
I am truly confused… when I find the reply I will post it and share it with you…
PS: in all honesty, when we recovered, say after half of an hour of talkings about the cruellest training program we would apply to straighten Lucille, we also laughed thinking of how you guys would have enjoyed it if we had this in video!!!! And no, we did not react badly, we know you never have to punish your dog when it comes back… even if that happens with a lot of calm… But we were so angry, she felt that… se really wore the helmet till she got home.
PS2: NO WORRIES DOGGIES FRIENDS – NOTHING CRUEL WILL EVER HAPPEN TO LUCILLE!!!! NOT BY HER HUMANS HAND – BE SURE OF THAT…. SHE MIGHT END UP MORE ON LEASH THOUGH… SHE WILL NEED TO GAIN OUR TRUST BACK AND GET AN “A” LEVEL OUT OF THE NEXT TRAINING PROGRAM.
(NOT SURE OF THE SAME IF SHE CROSSES THE ROAD WITH THE SHEPHERD OR THE GOAT… WILL CHANGE “ITINERY” FOR A WHILE)