Luna In The Lead

Lu is not an off leash dog because when her nose gets going her ears shut down. ( I suspect this is why she was picked up as a stray and placed in a shelter.)
Sometimes, like tonight, I put on her long lead and let her get her sniff on. I just follow her around, wherever her nose leads her, and let her sniff and pounce and wag her tail.

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I dream that maybe one day I will try her again off leash. Tonight she made me believe that it may be possible. But then I remember when we have done this before and she has picked up the scent of a deer and then she’s like a train. I also remind my self of the two times I tried her off leash….she was gone into the bush for 45 minutes. The first time I called and called for her to come back. The second time I knew that if I just waited where she last saw me she would return to me. And of course she did. But the whole time she was gone I was thinking….what if she doesn’t come back this time. I love her too much to lose her.

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Barking Back

Lu has a memory like an elephant. If a dog barked at her behind a certain fence she will remember that and act inappropriate when going by this place even if the dog is not in the yard. This is only one example….there are a few. Eventually she will let it go. But it takes a while. If she saw a deer on our walk…well she expects it will be there two weeks later even after walking there everyday.
Which leads me to this weekends obsession and eventual talking barking back at me.

There just so happened to be a squirrel in a tree in my daughters back yard… Ok so I expect Lu to bark, run, and try to climb the tree…the first time….but after many hours and then a day passes without hearing or seeing the squirrel…. The craziness must stop!

I start to block her from the tree. Which is me just standing there staring at her while she dodges back and forth in front of me barking non stop. Slowly I continue to walk towards her till finally she sits and stops barking. After this if she goes to the tree … I say leave it and she does. While I am standing there I often think about what she would be saying to me if she could talk…

Me: “Leave it”. (calmly standing in front of her staring at her).
Lu: “IT’S A SQUIRREL! DID YOU SEE IT! GET OUT OF MY WAY!! WHY ARE YOU STARING AT ME!! STOP LOOKING AT ME! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!” *this goes on for 1-2 minutes.
Me: (takes a few steps towards her till she finally sits)
Lu: “K! I’M SITTING! NOW MOVE! (looks at me) MO— …..Fine.”
Me:” Good girl.” ( walks away)

I have had a few instances of Lu barking back when I have told her to do something. It is actually one of the things I like about her personality. It doesn’t make her a bad dog. Just a dog that has an opinion. She will still do what you want but she will let you know (even while she’s doing what you ask) that she doesn’t really want to do it. If you are willing to follow through she will then comply the next time when asked with no barking back. I just think of her ,during these moments,like a little kid always asking why? And my answer to her is “because I said so”.

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