I’m out with the Daisy dog on a bright, late January afternoon. The birds are singing hopeful songs and a gentle, relaxing walk lies ahead of us.
We turn the corner and are immediately thrown into a standoff, not dissimilar to a scene from a spaghetti western – hence the title.
A beautiful, long-haired, border collie who goes by the name of Flossie leads her pack of two humans. They always trail several yards behind her. The music builds to a climax in my aching head as I clock Daisy’s body language. She is eyeballing the Flossie and all her muscles have been tensed. Flossie stares the Daisy dog down and keeps coming at us.
There’s no time to retrieve the fistful of sausages in my glove ( yummy!) and I take evasive action by turning my pooch away from her perceived threat to face a wall, whilst calmly, but firmly telling her no… to defuse the situation. But, Daisy’s not having any of this and she lunges at the Flossie. I manage to pull her back in time and tell her no! She gives up and the standoff is over. Phew! The Flossie continues on her walk.
The rest of Flossie’s pack ambles up and a joint and judgemental ooh! is muttered by them and so the finger of blame wafts in my direction.
To say that I’m bloody furious is an understatement.
Standoffs with this Flossie are becoming a regular occurrence. Usually, I get to deploy my weapon… sliced sausages. A request for the Daisy dog to watch me distracts her as she loves sausages. Don’t all dogs? The Flossie passes us by and her pack of two loyal followers rush silently past us. Which is odd, to say the least. Most dog walkers like to pass comment on our various canine encounters. Or at least say ” Hello.”
In my quest to train our pooch, I go everywhere with my fists and pockets full of sausages, or bits of beef, pork and when I’m desperate liver. All cooked of course. I smell really yummy and dogs for miles around are thrilled to see me. They all want to stop and say hello. Which is fine… the Daisy dog gets to socialize with other dogs and I get to chat for England.
All except Flossie that is. Flossie doesn’t stop to chat, her pack never stop, or chat and the Irish Daisy dog thinks it’s highly amusing to shout “Feck off!” at her.
It is not.
This is not acceptable for a lady/female greyhound and so the training continues.
At this stage my husband and I ( one has been watching The Crown on Netflix and is feeling rather regal) can’t decide whether it’s the pack leader thing that is the problem, or the rubber ring that Flossie has rammed in her mouth, at all times. The Daisy dog has lots of toys and things to chew… other than chair legs, mobile phones, pairs of glasses and false teeth, but no rubber ring.
Yet another day and Daisy and I round the corner to be confronted by the Flossie. This time I quickly cross the road, with a very verbal and reluctant Daisy dog in tow. Flossie continues and her single pack member struggles to keep up with her.
I cross back over and explain to Flossie’s guy that it would be very helpful for them to have her on the lead, when we meet. He admits that he can’t walk her on the lead. She “pulls my shoulder out of its socket” he tells me.
We talk on, the Flossie keeps going… somewhere around the corner and walking along the side of the very busy, main road through our village. ( The thought of this scares me to death… seemingly not him.)
He accuses me of having a vicious dog. I point out that in all of our standoffs I’m the one that has to deal with both dogs. Never have they made any attempt to call the Flossie to heel. ( There’s no whistling of the pooch going on in this version of The Good , The Bad and The Ugly.) Nor do they put her on a lead; as other dog owners tend to do, when they see an approaching dog being walked on the lead. It evens things up a bit – in the canine world! The Flossie is presumably still on the roam. Points made and taken, we go our separate ways.
Several minutes later and the pooch and I are further down the road, and making my way round to the river when we meet…
Flossie leads again, he follows on. His anger is almost tangible.
This time the sausages are deployed, but we’re trapped in between another damn wall and them . He struts past. However, Flossie has stopped to sniff the grass. He shouts her five times, each time more frantically and angrily. Finally, she decides to join him. The Daisy dog is more of a lady this time and doesn’t swear, or attempt a lunge for the collie. She gets an extra-large piece of sausage and oodles of praise.
Bloody marvellous, I think… and head to the river for some chill out time.
The Daisy dog’s rubber ring arrives today.
Watch this space as I train our still adjusting to life as a family pet and so occasionally ever so slightly naughty, but absolutely adorable greyhound.
Do you have a free spirit dog? Or are you training your pooch? Feel free to share your experiences and words of wisdom/techniques .
Thanks for dropping by.
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