It was a cool evening, and I took Chou Chou for a walk in the neighborhood. I saw that a lot of dogs were in the park, so I took side streets instead. I thought there would be fewer distractions. ("That was so wrong!")
We walked around the corner. A boy was playing with a remote control car on his lawn. It moved fast and it was loud. Chou Chou jumped as we passed by.
Around another curve, I heard 4 young boys on scooters coming our way, single file, on the sidewalk. The scooters were noisy, the kids were yelling to each other, and there were flashing lights on their scooters. I had to step off the sidewalk into the street to avoid a collision. Chou Chou was scared and pulled backwards, but I gave her some treats and she seemed reassured. ("Oui! Until they came around again!") We turned the corner, going around the block to get away from the mayhem.
We regained our calm and walked along, until I saw them coming at us again! They had gone around, too and they were back in our path, still yelling, lights flashing, scooters grinding on the pavement. Again I stepped off the sidewalk into the street to let them pass. Again I offered Chou some treats and told her it was okay. And we moved on. Looking behind me, I could see they were going into a house. Good.
We walked forward, although now Chou Chou was apprehensive. We passed along the side of an iron fence ... a large dog started barking at Chou from behind the fence. It ran and followed us as we walked quickly along the fence and away from it. The treats weren't enough to completely calm Chou this time. She was rattled, pulling me forward as hard as she could, to escape. ("We should have gone to the peaceful park!")
I regained control and we walked towards home, zigzagging through the neighborhood side streets. All was finally calm. And then I saw them again! ("Aauck!") The 4 scooters coming at us! ("Aauck!") We were nowhere near where they were before; were they following us?
This time Chou Chou had had enough. She was very upset and looked up at me. I remember that look -- kind of crazed -- although I haven't seen it since she was very young, before lots of training. It's the look she used to give me when she was very frustrated or afraid and couldn't regulate her emotions. It's the look right before she jumped on me, snapping and growling and biting my jacket. She was about to pounce!
But she didn't. This time she was older and better able to control herself. I quickly praised her for the pounceless sit, gave her several treats, and we moved forward again, allowing her a galloping speed. ("I had to get home to safety!") In the house, she ran upstairs and into her bed.
("Some walks are not so good!")
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