From Rosa’s Facebook page, April 15th, bone-tired-o’clock:
Before I collapsed from exhaustion, I took Hate You Forever on his first walk on a leash.
By “took him on a walk”, I mean: “spent half an hour chasing him so I could attach the leash; fended off Senior Dog when HYF growled at me for trying to pull him; picked HYF up and carried him outside; set him down on the porch and tried to get him to come while on the leash; picked him up again and carried him from the porch to the grass; watched him sniff Senior Dog’s favorite spot to pee; and waved to the neighbors as HYF flopped over on his side in misery and confusion”.
Between that little scene and his visibly protruding ribs, I am 100% expecting the Humane Society’s What’s All This, Then? Squad to show up on Monday.
Well Aren’t You A Bouncy Little Sunshine, our disgustingly cheerful neighborhood Yorkie, came over to say hello and Hate You Forever basically died of terror for a couple of minutes.
That turned out to be a good thing because I was able to pick him up and take him back inside with far less of a fight than I’d been expecting.
It’s a process.
It’s now eight months later, and HYF is much better about going outside without having panic attacks. He smiles while I attach his leash. He waits patiently by the door until I open it.
Then he uses all seventy pounds and every ounce of his partial pit bull heritage to drag me down the porch steps. He waits just long enough for the yelling to stop, then tests whether I can catch him and wrestle him to the ground before he rips my arm right out of his socket. After the yelling stops again, he takes a few dainty steps across the short grass of our lawn.
I fall for it every time.
When I relax my guard, he darts into the foot-high lawn of the abandoned house next door, leaves a mess the size of my head, and sits back for a good laugh while I pick the mess out of twelve inches of grass and weeds with one of those absolutely inadequate Doggy Doo bags.
It’s a process. A long, painful, reeking process.
At the end of it, his reward is that he gets to run. He’s built for running, so it’s a great reward. He has to stay on the leash, of course, since he really can’t hear us bellowing for him to get out of the street if he’s more than about ten feet away.
I am not built for running. Eight months of running with this dog have not changed that one whit.
Three times a day, my neighbors get to watch me fall down the stairs after my dog; pick bits of stink apart from moldering stems of Queen Anne’s Lace; and flail my fat ass up and down the block at the end of a bounding, laughing, bundle of freakish energy.
Most of them have the decency to close the curtains.