Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Training Rack to go Off Leash at 5AM

This isn't the kind of thing I'm going to do later in the day.   It is a special treat at this point.   I think it's going to go well, but we have some learning to do.

When I get up early, at Stupid O'Clock, that means that my dog does as well. 

This particular morning, the clock was glowing a teal blue "5:00 AM" from the window well across the room.   I growled at it and grabbed my socks to start the day.

We did manage to get out for a lap around town early.  Earlier than most.  There is always someone out and about here, it's one of the things about living in a semi-urban Wilton Manors.  You're never quite alone.

While there are some very set times people will walk their dogs, my own timing floats around depending on how late I had that last glass of water or whether dinner was to large or small.

I got Rack prepared for a wander and we left the door.  Soon we were at Wilton Drive.  He had watered a couple Yard Rocks, a palm tree or three, and some lizards that weren't quite fast enough to get out of his way. 

Silly wet lizard, I don't want you climbing me either.

Having actually done all of his business we walked into the parking lot and South on the Drive.  This is the part that Rack hates. 

I mean HATES.

You see, my fearful dog jumps out of his skin when he hears loud noises.  I broke him of snooping the trash can and climbing on furniture by leaving small metal bowls out.  Knock a small metal bowl off of a trash can in the kitchen and it hits the Ecru Colored Florida Tiles with a crash.   That's followed by the sound of four paws "ripping tire" as fast as they can trying to get a purchase in order to propel 45 pounds of Mc Nab Dog forward as quickly as humanly possible.

Or would that be "caninely possible"?

Either way, it's fast!

We hear the roar of a tricked out Japanese import firing up through the three gears with a wheeze and a fart.  Nothing like taking a $5,000 car and making it worth less by adding another $1,000 worth of useless crap to make it louder than the diesel roar that comes out of the E-16 Fire Truck that it just passed going too fast.

Rack didn't like that.  He flattened against the walkway until it left.   From that point on, my arm was stretched until we got off that Drive.

He has a similar reaction to the 50 Bus whether Northbound or Southbound, the Entenmann's truck heading downtown, Kirby's F250 Diesel, and just about any other loud noise.

I don't blame him about that Entenmann's truck, that bloody thing is LOUD.

Rounding the corner, we're off drive.  I'd had enough of being towed.  I'm 225 pounds of Moose that wants a leisurely stroll at Stupid O'clock :30 and not to be in the Southernmost Iditarod.

So what do I do?  I drop the leash.

He walks about 20 feet and stops.  Nobody is around.  If it weren't for the air conditioning compressors, we'd hear crickets.

"Rack."  I say at a normal conversational volume.

Rack turns around, smiles, wags his tail and trots back to me.  I'm glued to the side of a dog as he resumes normal walk position.  Reaching down, I get his purple leash, and we begin to walk.

I let him walk until he's got my arm pulled forward stiffly.  Then I drop the leash again.

We repeat the ritual.  After about 20 feet, I see a smiling face with nut brown eyes looking at me.  This time I didn't have to call him until after he stopped.

"Hey, I'm back here."

He trots back and glues himself to my calf.  I think he likes this, the goofy guy wandering off but not too far.

We go deeper into the neighborhood, still nobody is around us. 

Walking past the house with the two badly trained barky dogs, I am thinking it's time for another try.  He actually walks with me for a bit but slowly pulls ahead.   I'm not awake, haven't had breakfast or coffee, and not into running anyway.


Barky dogs start barking out of control.  I hear the woman inside yelling at the dogs.  It's still only Stupid O'clock :40.   I smile to myself as Rack glues himself to my right calf.

"Good boy!" as I pet his smiling face.  "Let's Go."

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