Learning to walk

Harley has never figure out many of the things that most dogs know, for example, she doesn’t realize that cats are the enemy and she doesn’t seem to know that when one goes for a walk on a leash, the correct action is to run ahead and pull at the leash.  While I am happy for the first (as I am sure is Finley the cat she lived with for 6 months), the latter is driving me nuts.  See, Valparaiso is a city full of dogs– street dogs, house dogs, unchained dogs, dogs that want to and could eat my little Harley.  When my little one is walking next to me, or behind me, as she likes to do it is almost impossible to protect her.

It all started when she was a little pup. After being run over by a tractor (this story for another day), Harley did not walk for a while.  When she learned, she did not like to be on the leash.  Instead of going on walks around the block in the afternoons, we would go for drags around the block.  Literally.  Harley, even as a puppy was very stubborn and instead of walking, once pulling back and digging her paws into the ground didn’t work, she would lie down, spread eagle, and allow herself to be dragged.  Weeks passed before she finally submitted and started to walk, dragging her feet, behind me.

Today, I had had enough.  So, the walk home (usually about 20 minutes), I forced her to walk in front of me.  She hated it. She walked sideways most of the way.  For those who have never seen a dog do this, please, let me affirm that it is an extremely slow way to walk.  She tried walking backward, but that didn’t work well either.  The few moments she agree to walk in front, I gave her as much verbal encouragement as I could.   Unfortuately, this only serve to have her wag her tail at me, and then try to move behind me again.

Similarly, like Harley, I feel like I am re-learning to walk. This is day one of NaBloPoMo and already I am having writers block– although I do have 2 wonderful ideas which I will write about.  And moreover, I am feeling that annoying feeling of not wanting to do something simply because I was told that I had too— like reading novels in grade school.  I loved doing it, but I hated being forced to.


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