Big-dog-little-handler: try, try and try again.

A few days ago I posted about Duke’s progress and my distress that he seemed to be regressing again slightly!! His recall had improved for weeks then suddenly he started being silly.

I was almost reduced to tears. He had done so well to suddenly go wrong was very distressing.

Karl’s got a bad back so we have been one man down. With only 2 members out of 3 in our little team operationally that made things a little more difficult. It was just me and Duke at training classes and just the two of us on our dog walks with our training group. Which worried me… I was concerned he would play up.

Wednesday training he was pretty good and Friday he was amazing; so I had to decide whether to partake in our weekend activities with the hubby at home.

Duke and I are really lucky as our training group are fantastic; they give us a lot of support . So I knew should it be disastrous I would have some back up. Despite my worries we went!

Saturdays is woodland walk day. Normally Duke stays on the lead on Saturdays. But we gave him some time off. I put him on and off the lead keeping time off short and sweet. We only had one little slip up; A bike came up behind us and stopped huffing and puffing up the hill. Duke spotted the bike before I grabbed him. Ooops!! He was pretty good really. He didn’t make contact. He just made noise and jumped around the bike. I was able to talk calmly to the cyclists and get my monkey under control. So that’s a small blessing. A bit red faced I was still able to walk away without needing to be too upset. It was thankfully a successful day in the end.

Today was a little bit more of a challenge because Duke is use to being off the lead and running around free with his friends. I was on my own again. So had to make it work. As usual our four and two legged friends where supportive and brilliant!

Duke did leg it off once but responded when told to “go back to your mum” by one of our group! Win !! So a pretty good walk indeed. But we did miss the third member of our little team.

After our morning walk we met my dad and step mum for a walk to the pub. This was Duke’s first time in such a busy pub. With lots of food, other dogs, noise and people. He did superb. He was pretty tiered to be honest. He had a little bit of chicken while we ate our diner and he was good as gold he even let a few people give him a little attention without getting too excited.

We walked back down the beach and managed to let duke off the lead again with a 100% effective recall. I did pop him on the lead after a little while because the sea got really choppy and he kept jumping in. A wave almost knocked him over which made me a bit fearful. Don’t want to risk loosing him in the sea.

I’m proud of my boy. And relieved. Looks like our step back isn’t permanent. It just goes to show : Try, try and try again.

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