There’s an electrical crackling in the air. That electricity is the sign that here in the southern hemisphere winter is quickly coming to an end and spring is on its way. What a wonderful time of year!
Phoebe and Cooper can also feel the springtime static in the air and we all look forward to taking more walks as the days are longer again. I hope to increase Phoebe’s morning walks again, and The Greek and I will be able to walk the dogs in the afternoons as the sunset becomes so much later. I know we could walk at all times of day, but the cold and dark is really unpleasant for me, and I also have many safety concerns, even if our neighbourhood is considered “safe” by South African standards.
As happy as I am with the opportunity to get out there for some fresh air and much needed exercise for me and the dogs, there is one major drawback of this beautiful time of year… you see… we all love spring, and this is when everyone decides to take advantage of the beautiful weather with their dogs. Their dogs who are my dogs’ kryptonite…
Having not one, but two, reactive dogs is a real challenge. Don’t get me wrong, I’m up for it, and am amazed at how far we’ve come (and I’m sure will still go!). But there are days when I really just wish it was easier.
When I see those absent-minded people walking with their dogs off leash, listening to their iPod, texting friends while their dogs who have perfect recall and walking merrily alongside are oblivious to the impending doom I feel with each step, I must admit that I feel a little green with envy. Well, the envy comes after the dizzying split second range of thoughts about escape routes, where high and low value treats are, how loudly I need to yell at the person and their approaching dog, where the nearest vets are in case of a dog fight, if there may be other loose dogs in the neighbourhood, how much chaos will ensue if I don’t time my ninja escapes well enough etc.
But enough of the moaning! It’s time the family goes out to the nature park on the top of the hill to watch the buds of spring as the dirty brown scenery begins to slowly transform into explosions of green and all the other colours of the rainbow. Here’s hoping we have a glorious spring with perfectly mismatched schedules to all the other fur-parents!
Phoebe and Cooper’s Effectiveness Summary:
Issue Addressed: Reactivity, Boredom
Tool(s) Used: Exercise, Regular Walks
Cost: Low. Free!
Ease of Implementation: Easy. The most difficult part is planning your day so that you have enough time to take regular walks.
Effectiveness Rating: 5/5. This helps to keep both Phoebe and Cooper much calmer and less stressed when it is time for me to leave. They also generally behave and sleep better on days where we take these long walks. A mental and physical benefit for us all!
Do you have a favourite season to take walks?