My goal with this blog is for you to enjoy your time here. Most of the posts talk about my experiences raising my two yellow Labrador Retrievers, some are just for fun, and others share the best dog related information and products I have found.

Use the tabs above for quick navigation. I have imbedded links for as much as possible so that you can find the resources easily from this blog. The links in the side bar are for websites that have been helpful to me. I hope that you find them useful for you and your canine "family member"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

All good things come to those who wait

I knew this day would come.

I knew this day was possible.
I knew I couldn't give up hope.

Looking into his eyes, despite the fact they were adolescent eyes, I knew one day I would be writing this blog post. And today's the day!

Tonight for the first time Shelby and I walked all the way around the block with no leash. I was so proud of him!! Yes, he still pushes the limits on how far away from me he wants to jog ahead, but he was able to be checked with voice commands. We had two encounters with three others dogs out for walks, granted they were across the street on the opposite sidewalk, but still ... !

In the past there would have been no holding him, or shutting him up for that matter. (See previous post "Surviving Puppy Adolescence")

Yet there he was this evening prancing at my side with a yip and whine or two, (maybe it was three - anything is better than the incessant barking fits he'd go into) and he was quick to check in with me with those loving attentive eyes turned up to me as if to say, "look, look, look mom - other dogs!!" I couldn't help but smile in admiration!!

So here he is now in the evening shadows of my office - 13 months later. And I couldn't be more proud of him. That's my boy!!


MsShad said...

Wooo hooo! My Jeffrey does this but not Muttin.

"Sunshine" said...

Thanks for stopping by and saying "Hi".

Any time you have two dogs, regardless of their size, breed or tempermant, I believe working on their solid connection with you, so that they will give up any distraction to please you, is a challenge. Especially if they have determined that they call the shots with the other dog(s) in the house.

I know I will be limited in where Shelby is safe to walk off leash, so more then anything this is a big sign of maturity and selfcontrol on his part.

I think each dog comes with its own unique mix of personality and selective breeding. If it wasn't for reading Suzanne Clothire's book and the one on one time Shelby & I had with her I would never have held out hope this long.

I won't lie to you and say, everything get's better when your Lab turns three. There's no magical switch that turns the craziness off. Pure and simple it's a lot of hard work.

Nothing makes me happier than to share my dogs now with guests of all ages especially infants and hear people say, "what well behaved dogs you have." If they only knew where we started and how I was ready to give up hope just a year ago.

jan said...

That's great. The best I'll ever do, I'm afraid, is to have my four walk in tandem and not pull at their leashes. I feel a little guilty about not working with them individually, but my model is a well trained team of oxen. :)