Last weekend I had the fun job of tending Julie’s dogs while she went out of town. White Mountain Agility sits on 90 acres, much of it in conservation, at the edge of an even larger piece of protected land. Each morning I took Chico and two of the four resident dogs for a walk. Chico really doesn’t like the other dogs, but he doesn’t pick fights*. He sort of takes a different walk than the other dogs do. They are all with me, but the dogs are not all together.
Yesterday we went to the top of the esker** where there’s a nice view on a good day. Three dogs looking at the view was too many, too close, but Chico could sit there next to Sport and get his picture taken.
A year ago, I wouldn’t have attempted this picture. I might not have attempted the walk. I wouldn’t have trusted Chico and I wouldn’t have had the confidence to try and handle him and someone else’s dogs at the same time. Of course, Julie’s dogs are impeccably trained, giving me a big advantage.
*OK, if the other dogs try to get closer to me than Chico is, he comes in with a snarl and a sharp bark telling them in no uncertain terms that I am *his* person and they better stay away. It’s actually not at all cool and I aspire to end the behavior.
**An esker is a long, narrow ridge of gravel and sand that was deposited by a stream flowing in or under the glacier that covered New England from 110,000 to 10,000 years ago.