Spring has finally sprung. And that means one thing: Foxie Doxie is losing his shit.
We've been going on walks, and it's painfully obvious that any leash training Foxie might have ever had is gone. Gone, like dinosaurs are gone. Totally extinct.
I can handle the "hearn Hearn HEARN!" when we're first starting out and he's excited. But it's the rabid "HEARN HEARN HEARN!" when he sees another dog that makes me crazy.
He pulls on his choke chain and pulls himself up on his rear legs. He acts like he's going to devour the dog in his sights.
I do the Dog Whisperer "tsk!" sound. I attempt to shape his rigid little body into a seated position. When that fails, I attempt to fwop him onto his side into a submission pose.
All the while, Lil' Frankfurter looks around, wondering what the big deal is.
Sometimes, I momentarily come to terms with the fact that when on a leash, Foxie is just always going to freak over other dogs, and that's just the way it is. But then I think, "No! I am the alpha of this pack! I can shape his behavior!"
But mostly? Mostly, I just try to avoid other dogs. And when I can't? I try to come up with good excuses for the other dog owners.
"We're working on training" is my perennial favorite. But sometimes, when the other dog owner thinks they're Cesar Milan and freaking stops - making Foxie's fit longer in duration - to offer "helpful" hints?
Well, a hearty "Fuck you" is always on the tip of my tongue. I can only imagine what it's like to have human kids and be subject all the crazy "advice" that anyone who's ever seen a kid on TV feels obligated to give parents. Why yes, all my best parenting advice has always come from complete strangers who don't know me or my kids. Thanks!
All of this makes me truly and deeply appreciate one group that often doesn't get the love they deserve.
Yes. I'm talking about dogs that behave even more horribly than mine.
When those dog owners apologize for their canines' behavior? And I'm all, "It's OK! Really?" Really, I mean, "Thank you! Thank you for making me feel like less of a failure! Your 85-pound dog ran across a busy street to hump my 12-pound dog, and I'm so glad! We're all better for it! Are you sure you don't want to forget a poop bag so that I can feel really superior since I always clean up after my kids? Are you sure?"
I'm hoping that with daily walks, Foxie will calm down. Maybe he'll be consistently too exhausted to lose his mind. Or maybe I just really need to start getting up early so I can walk the kids before other dogs are, you know, awake. I'd like to walk in the middle of the night to really be safe, but I've been told that's a bad idea.