Ok, by request, let’s all swim to the left toward the 3 foot water…
We did a family first this weekend. We went for a walk to the park. Me, mommy, Caroline, and Rusty. Twice. And, believe it or not, it went quite well. I’ve been working with Rusty, trying to get him to simmer down. Turns out, he’s only wild with me. After 10 minutes of trying to wrestle the walking leash on him (insert shouts of “RUSTY!!” here), and then 10 more minutes of him entangling my legs in the leash as I try to get him out of his lot, good ol’ Russ turned into a teddy-bear with the girls! I couldn’t believe it! He went up to Amanda, licked her hand, then turned and tried to lick Caroline’s fingers (eliciting a growl from my little one!), but no jumping, no biting, no leg action. I had to check his collar to make sure he was my dog after all!
So, we set off for the park. Mommy, pushing Caroline’s stroller. Me, getting pulled along by Rusty. We made it to the park without event (I’ll leave out the numerous pit-stops to kill the local flora and fauna). Amanda put Caroline in a swing, and I hung out with Rusty. Eventually, we wound up beside the little one, and the above picture was the result. He was so good with her. He let her pet him, and pull his hair…all without any reaction. Caroline was overjoyed at her new friend, pointing at him and grunting, and even waving from time to time. This is huge, because she was scared to death of him 3 weeks ago. I think he’s going to be quite protective of her. Good boy, Russ.
We stopped by a local diner for an “Orange-Aid” (Amanda loves ’em, I don’t. Give me an Orange Julius anyday), we headed home. At this point, the only “oh snap” moment of the trip occurred. As we cut across a parking lot to head home, a Husky comes trotting our way. Russ goes into lockdown, straining at the leash. I have visions of “White Fang” running through my head, and tell the girls to keep walking. I see tags on the dog, and keep waiting for a frustrated owner to come running around the corner with a leash in his hands, but no such luck. The Husky comes up and they start the butt-sniffing. Russ then does some kind of karate/judo/ninja move and somehow, in one motion, gets out of the walking harness. “This is it,” I think to myself, “Prepare to get bit.” Evidently, I hadn’t noticed the sex of our guest. She starts whimpering, and Russ decides “it’s business time.” Too bad I was on him like white on rice. I grabbed his collar and jerked for all I was worth. Ol’ Russ, he’s pretty much oblivious to me, and tries to drag me along as he chases his new friend. I finally got the leash back on, and gave him a little love-tug. This time, he listened. But that freaking Husky has now moved off in the direction of my girls. So I take off at full run, and Rusty must have thought “He’s changed his mind!!!!” The Husky veers off one way, and I drag Russ the other. I was none too happy, but Russ was all fired up. He was wilder on the way home than he’d been all day. It was all I could do to hold onto him. But, he never messed with Caroline, so I’ll give him a break.
He’s still getting snipped. Sorry, ol’ boy, but it’s coming.
Other than the event with the dogs, it was a very good day. I am a blessed man. Getting to take a walk with my girls, in our town, on a beautiful spring day is about as good as it gets. As my brother reminded us all today, there are many men and women who pay a heavy price so we can do things like that. Today, I had a sweet spot moment. And I’m thankful.