I took my friend’s borderline insane puppy for a walk today. That wouldn’t usually make headline news, even in my own household, but young Darcey is no ordinary dog. This insane working cocker spaniel is quite an experience and somehow a walk with her is never without incident.
I had collected the pooch with great confidence as she had shown every sign of calming down a bit lately. Now 5 months old, she appears to be curbing her worst excesses. She is the sort of dog which tires you out just looking at her and one which possesses energy levels that exceed those of the average nuclear weapon!
Today’s walk started very well. When, when I say walk, I mean a charge down the road with me running full tilt! We arrived safely at the park where I let her off the lead. She always follows me and keeps an eye on where I am if she decides to trot off to investigate anything. The problem in the past has been calling her back if she sees something interesting.
Something interesting includes other people, other dogs, other dog’s toys and anything that moves! Today I was pleasantly surprised to find that she came running back to me whenever I called her. So far so good!
Going Pear Shaped
We took a lengthy walk, or in her case run, through the park. She didn’t trip up any joggers or cause any cyclists to crash. I thought it was all going rather well. But when we neared the end of the walk everything went pear-shaped.
Head Down and Charge!
I always put Darcey back on the lead when we approach the path leading to the main road. I am terrified that she will charge down the path and out in front of a car. We were still at some distance from the path when she put her head down and bolted towards it. She has clearly learnt the route home! I wasn’t too worried because her recall had improved so I shouted at her to come back to me. But she just kept going.
The next thing I knew, Darcey was 300 yards away. She stopped briefly and looked at me as I pathetically waved a bag of dog treats in the air like an idiot and then she disappeared around the corner towards the road. It was then that I heard a terrified voice wailing and screaming. It took some to realise that the voice belonged to me!
There was no point running after her as I would never reach her in time. I kept shouting but she didn’t come back. I was forced to set off after her praying that she wasn’t dead in the road. Then a little face appeared from behind a bush. Darcey suddenly came charging back towards me. When she got close enough I rugby tackled her and quickly attached her lead. Disaster had been averted.
I am now wondering just how far away from that path I need to be to be safe. Another county would be good! I don’t know what she is being taught at her puppy training classes but whatever it is, it isn’t working!