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A Very Good Day

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It's been a rocky almost-three-years since I got Buddy, my reactive dog. Trainers, books, research, and lots of time. One step forward, two steps back.


This morning I took Buddy for a rainy-day walk at the local park. It was nearly empty except for friends, so he was off leash. He met a big old black lab without a snarl, and a large (gorgeous!) pale BC-looking dog in a happy manner. The other walkers noted how well he did.


This afternoon, the sun came out finally, and it was a rare warm day here. So I took Buddy down to the reservoir for a long 5.5 mile loop. We met small children, and Buddy lay down calmly while they petted him and gave him treats. We ran into mountain bikes - which used to absolutely make Buddy have a meltdown - and he calmly waited till they passed and kept on sniffing. We met a youngish, adolescent black lab who was all up in Buddy's grill... but with a stern "Leave it," Buddy redirected himself away from snarling to tolerating the dog's attentions. (Well, to be fair, he did correct the pup when he lunged after a minute - but quickly and without no more mad teeth than was necessary.) We were walking a narrow path as a man with a baby in a backpack came by, and I did a "heel" and Buddy walked right next to me, gazing adoringly at my face (and hoping for a treat), so that the man said, "You've got some discipline on that dog!"


Sometimes you hardly notice the progress your dog has made, until one day when everything goes right. ::Sigh::



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