Walks with Thane are always interesting. He's got the herding dog tendency to nip at ankles or to jump up and grab at my sleeves, especially if he's in a playful mood. My dog trainer suggested a game to distract him from that behavior - I say, "Ready?" and grab a treat, then toss it on the ground and say, "Go find it!" Eventually, if I'm consistent in catching the behavior early enough, the nipping habit should be broken.
It is helping, but I don't always have treats on me - or sometimes I can't get to them. Like today.
I was cutting between two groomed trails, walking over the no-man's land where you might sink into the snow an inch - or a foot. I made it to within one step of the groomed trail when - you guessed it! - the ground suddenly dropped out from underneath me and I was in snow up to my knees.
This normally wouldn't have been much of a problem - I'd just catch my balance and step up onto the trail. But then Little Mr. Crazy decided that this was the best game EVER - and grabbed hold of my right coat sleeve for a rousing game of tug-of-war.
Needless to say, it's a teensy bit challenging to get your balance and step out of knee-deep snow when a 50-pound dog is attached to your sleeve, tugging for all he's worth! And I couldn't get to my pocket to distract him with treats because I keep them in my right-hand coat pocket.
I'm glad no one chose that moment to pass by...although they'd have had a nice story to tell.
I was both laughing and kind of wishing for the rolled-up newspaper my Mom keeps suggesting I use on Thane. I eventually managed to wrestle my way up onto the trail, detach Fang from my sleeve, and attempt to recover some of my lost dignity - but then I had to laugh again because the Goofball was so overcome with excitement that he got the zoomies and nearly fell in the hole in the snow where I'd been stuck.
He's a good boy...but I can't wait until he's completely grown up!
Don't let anyone tell you that raising a puppy is all tail wags and soft little kisses!!
No matter how regal said pooch tries to appear!