Let me start by saying my right side of my body is stronger, and more sore, than my left side.
Because Tucker tugs on his leash and huffs like a locomotive on our walks which translates into an intense upper body workout for me. 💪
Not only that, he drags his body in the direction he wants to go so hard, with such force, he walks sideways. Very low, that Beagle nose glued to the ground sniffing non-stop, rendering my arm seemingly two inches longer than normal.
When this happens I kick in my K9 training tricks (long story) and manage to recalibrate him back into normal(ish) walking, but this time, I also had Nessie. I had to manage both dogs, on two separate leashes, simultaneously.
Nessie’s character is the opposite of Tucker during the walk. Not only does she never tug, she also doesn’t walk ahead of me. She either walks beside me, occasionally sniffing something, or slips behind me which isn’t comfortable because she ends up between my legs. Which wouldn’t be a big deal if I was walking her alone but I wasn’t, I had bulldozer Tucker to navigate simultaneously…
I managed to walk both of them several times alone this week, without injury to human or canines, but the rest of the time Sonja offered to join me. We’d switch dogs, Tucker with her first, Nessie with her next time, and this was a wonderful bonding moment between mother and child.
Anyway the dog sitting is over on Friday (today). For all intents and purposes, the dog sitting went very well.
Nessie, who went from being a respectful, shy, sweet girl who never jumped on furniture turned into a hole digging, jump on my bed, barking at exterior noises, feel-right-at-home assertive girl-dog quite capable of keeping Tucker in line if he got some idea that she might be humpable. (Tucker is not fixed which explains some of his, um, exuberant behaviour). With Nessie neutered, I wasn’t too concerned, but I still kept a very close eye. Turned out that she was quite capable of flipping the rules and dominating the little beagle boy at will. 😛
Tucker meanwhile was in heaven with bliss that a same-aged, and same-sized dog was spending endless hours playing, chasing and play-fighting with him. He’s had playdates before and knew Nessie from puppyhood, but never for an entire week, much less in his own home.
I found it interesting watching him having to share his turf, his toys, and his humans. He was very good and very willing, but occasionally needed a little extra assurance. Nessie meanwhile was the most suitable companion, instinctively understanding that this was Tucker’s home and adjusting to his, and our routine seamlessly.
However, she did “wake up” as the week progressed and I noticed a few probable troublemaking attitudes in the making, especially when they were together. 😀
Mostly, however, things worked rather well mainly because Sonja and I were alone; the boys were out of town at hockey camp. With less people around the dogs adjusted quickly to *my* downtimes – there were less distracting interruptions with less people coming and going all day and night, and this proved to be a good thing for me, and by default for the dogs too.
But I am utterly, completely exhausted. 😴
Today is Nessie’s last day with us, she’s getting picked up sometime in the afternoon.
This morning’s first and probably only walk was delayed because Sonja needed to meet a friend at 9 am which required me to put on my chauffeur hat. I left some very unhappy but relatively docile dogs lying by the door.
“I’ll be back to take you in 20 minutes,” I said. They didn’t look happy but they were quiet.
First thing I did when I returned was give them a walk, as promised. I decided on the extenda-leash for Tucker this time thinking maybe if he had more freedom to roam he’ll tug less. Sonja actually suggested this, and it worked well, or at least a little better.
However, there was some new drama. The crowning achievement was that Nessie rolled in something disgusting. 🤯
This is what happened:
Both dogs were sniffing intently in opposite directions meaning I did not have them in my line of vision at the same time. Knowing that Tucker is somewhat naughty when it comes to eating garbage and crap I kept the closer eye on him. As I pulled him closer toward me, away from the enticing smell, I felt a small tug on the other leash. I looked down and there was Nessie rolling her ear and something brown. 😐
That’s when I flipped a switch. We marched determinantly homeward, where I released Tucker to survey his yard and took smelly Nessie into the bathtub. She got a bath and a good scrub down and then ran around with Tucker to dry off in the hot sun afterwards.
I needed a coffee and a break, reached for the small French press which slipped out of my hand and I broke the glass portion of it. Blah.
I hope this day improves, starting with some tired dogs who will lie down and not move for the next 4 hours. 😎
Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading my dog adventures.