7.2.17 It was First Walk day yesterday, the moment I’ve been waiting for since we got Lola. The initial walk was more of an extended sniff. Lola was particularly excited to come across her first lamppost. I could practically see the neurons kicking off in her brain. Unfortunately, instead of being worn out when she got back, she became hyper and rehearsed her outdoor Annoying Behaviour of digging, starting with the Digging Delight border and then, in a very disappointing development, moving on to digging along one of the fences. In the end I stopped her by putting my wellies on and standing where she was digging, throwing a ball to distract her, giving her a little bit of food to move her away and eventually getting The Football out, taking full advantage of her phobia of footballs. When she saw the football she sloped back inside as soon as possible. Digging over. I might just get The Football out first next time.
Everyone was really excited to see Lola on the ground at school pick up time. Lola was inclined to follow the first children who came out of school but I used my expert yank to get her near enough to the school gate to spot Amelia and Charlie as they came out. She was mobbed by Charlie and Amelia and their friends, and seemed happy enough with that. Amelia let Charlie hold the lead first – I was worried there would be an argument over that. She did take over herself pretty soon though. Lola practically ran back down the road to the car, discarding all thoughts of sniffing. When we got home Charlie and Amelia resumed their efforts to get Lola to jump over the hedge, which she did a few times. By the end she just stopped moving through exhaustion so I sanctioned the release of The Football for Charlie to play with, which saw her scurry speedily inside.
I don’t know quite what happened next but she ended up doing a poo on the kitchen floor when I wasn’t in the room, having just done one outside. I think she was just overwhelmed by all the new experiences. She literally flopped for most of the rest of the day and could hardly lift her head in the evening.
So, on the whole, I’m really pleased she can go for walks now. I need to allow much more time for school pick up. I do feel that a new chapter has started and my siege mentality can lift. It’s a whole new world of being able to take her out to Pets at Home for more supplies, and not having to carry her everywhere. She isn’t too keen on the harness going on, but she doesn’t notice it when she’s walking. We haven’t come across other dogs yet, so I’ll be interested to see how that goes. I’m not worried about her meeting people. She’s a real people dog. Her favourite thing is a new person coming to the house. So for all the frustrations, I wouldn’t swap her because being a fan of people is a great trait for a dog.
Next step, puppy training classes, when I might start to get some control over her. Only 3½ weeks to go!