Saturday, 27 November 2010

Walk on the Wild Side

Today I have no clients dogs to walk, so I took mine out for some much needed Us Time. Bless them, they are the reason I do this job, but at very busy times they take a bit of a back seat attention-wise.

On my walks, every dog (and person) has a job. I'm the Boss, the Leader, Guide and Protector. I Find a Safe Path for us to travel. Each dog's main job is to Keep the Pack Together, but my dogs each have an extra job.

Fred is Point Man.
He roams ahead, keeping an eye out for danger. His state of continual alertness that can be so irritating while I'm trying to have a nice coffee and sit down halfway round is perfect for this job. His body language lets me know if he's seen another dog, another person, or something very New and Scary such as a cow, horse, signpost or gate. He's great at this job. Once danger is spotted, I take any appropriate action.

Scamp is our Scout.

He patrols along the sides, looking out for new or exciting routes that we might have missed, holes that need investigating, or hills that need to be looked over. Here he's checking out an alternative route. We didn't chose it in the end. I liked my route better.

Beauty is Rear Guard.

She follows along behind, although more usually at my side, and alerts me to anything approaching from the rear. Being a sighthound she's always watching out and as she really doesn't like any sort of confrontation this is the best place for her. She can tell me if something needs my attention, while at the same time being safe at my side.

It's my job to choose a Safe Path, and be Protector from the info the dogs bring me. They never make a decision, just feed me information to help me make a good choice.