Well there’s nothing worse than someone who lets their dog off-lead when they can’t control them and the dog has no recall…..well I’m hugely embarrassed to say this is exactly what happened to me last week – oh the shame! – Bella my rescue, who I blogged about here, has come on leaps and bounds in her training journey and as long as she has a ball and I have a ball (and I have many spares in my bag) I can pretty much guarantee everything will be rosy. She has an unhealthy ball obsession and this is all she is interested in whilst out walking, this is great as she ignores everything and anything else.
But on this particular walk I took my eye off the ball – literally – I was meeting a friend of mine with her new rescue dog, who we were testing with my 3 dogs to see if I could look after him whilst she is away and all was fine as we chatted down the park. All the dogs had met nicely and everything was hunky dory, then my sister came along with my 5-year-old in tow and I let my guard down,wasn’t paying Bella any attention and she had, without my knowledge, lost her ball!
Having a good old natter I didn’t notice that Bella’s arch-enemy was approaching with his evil weapons, yes….. ‘The Fisherman’ had walked into the field. This wasn’t any ordinary fisherman either, he was fully equipped with all Bella’s top ten big hates, a large flappy coat, a net, many fishing rods poking out of…wait for it…yes a massive long canvas bag and to top it all off Bella’s biggest all time hate…….a hat!
Oh my word Bella was NOT impressed, her nemesis was walking towards us and she did what any super hero dog, without a ball, would do…went mental and reverted to her pre-training, slightly rabid, albino fox looking, freak like, rescue dog mode.
Oh the SHAME! With her hackles up off she went to torment him with a wicked glint in her eye. Luckily for me (and the fisherman in question) Bella is not vicious and being only a small dog she isn’t very frightening but she was running rings around the poor bloke, lunging at his poles of doom (that’s his fishing rods by the way) and barking so much they all joined together into one ‘Cujo’ like howl.
Well all this glorious excitement provoked Roxy to join in this fun looking game. So now I have 2 of my dogs doing a merry dance with a still cheery (thank goodness) fisherman and my Lily on her extender by my side, barking like a looney, running round me and wrapping me up like a maypole.
I handed, well, thrust Lily’s lead to my friend’s unsuspecting child’s hands shouting ‘Hold this’ and ran towards the odd threesome shouting variations of ‘I’m sorry!’, ‘She’s a rescue’, ‘She doesn’t like fisherman’, ‘She hates hats’, ‘She won’t hurt you’. The fisherman in question was very nice and not at all bothered, as if its normal everyday practice for him to be tormented by demon dogs from hell.
Bella’s 100% recall record was smashed down to an embarrassing 0% and I must have looked a right sight chasing after them all, Roxy came back straight away to the magical command of ‘Come’ but Bella was on a roll and followed the poor guy for what seemed like a mile, eventually I managed to grab her harness and walked back shamed faced to the rest of the human and dog pack. I wanted the ground to swallow me up and I’m pretty sure Bella was blushing under her white coat too although when I called her a ‘Bad dog!’ I’m certain she smirked and winked at me.
Luckily to ease the situation my friend’s dog came over and cocked his leg up my wellies, not once but twice…I’m sure he meant well……. ‘There there, it happens to all of us, let me pee up your boots and everything will ok’….erm Thanks Eddie!
So what did I learn? Apart from Bella being a real mental mickey still, I should never, ever, take my eye off the ball…oh and I won’t look disapprovingly at owners who can’t control their dogs, after all it happens to the best of us 😉