I finally bit the bullet today and let Izzy off-lead outside the garden, You might remember that Izzy arrived in my life because she used to be in inveterate runaway and had actually done time in the pound twice. The first time I took her to the park I made the mistake of using one of those godawful extending leads with the big handles. Because I had two other dogs to deal with I couldn’t get a good grip on it quickly enough when she hopped out of the car, and the resulting clatter of the handle hitting the ground when it jerked out of my hand sent her running off, away from the sound of the clattering handle which of course kept following her. Pretty much a disaster all round, but thankfully, I was able to catch her.
Since then I have used a double ended training lead which I would clip to a belt loop on my jeans or hook onto the three dog leads to give her an illusion of freedom. Until the belt loop gave way .…Izzy turned out to be the type of dog that likes to keep going “thataway” at a very high speed. I was beginning to think she would be condemned to a permanent life on the leash until last week when I found out there was an off-leash area in St Anne’s and made a beeline there. What a let-down! It turns out to be a miserable square of broken glass encrusted gravel smaller in area than my own back garden, surrounded by a broken glass and condom laden grass verge with a threatening sign outside demanding that the poop be picked up with no sign of a litter bin to deposit said picked-up poop. Something of a let-down, might I say. But I released her in there for a little while and practised some recall. She seemed a little bemused, as the area was so small she was only interested in patrolling the perimeter (this was good as there was the least amount of glass there). However, she did respond to recall so that was a start. Picture above shows Chloe beside some of the crap we had to negotiate.
Anyhow, this week I brought the three beasties to one of the rugby pitches that was not in use, as well as half a pound of chicken bits and proceeded to engage in outright bribery which worked like a charm. She took off, I called her and waved the nice smelly meat, and back to me she ran,time and again. Then I called her back and instead of the meat I just told her how good she was, and that worked too. An outrageously gorgeous and extremely fast saluki turned up and against his will, she carefully herded him back to me, much to his owner’s surprise. I promise, we gave him back!. So I think finally the runthataway mentality has begun to recede. I’m now looking forward to going back to the days of having enough free hands to brin the SLR to get good action shots of all my honeys having a good time. Here she is, relaxing after her day out.