Sunday, August 1, 2010

Things I DON'T like about my shiba

Shibas, unfortunately, have a big neck and a little head, so if you pull forward on the leash, the collar slips right off them and they're free.

And they're fully aware of this.

Of course, so am I, so it's really rare that she gets away on me, but she was aggravating the crap out of me on our evening walk with her meandering and foot-dragging, and I pulled when she was behind me, and she got free.


Back home this wouldn't matter, I just finish my walk and go home and usually she'll get there before me. But we're in Yellowknife this weekend, and it's really not safe for a dog to run loose around here. Especially when we're on the Frame Lake trail and we have to cross Franklin Avenue to get back to the house.

So, I did the next best thing, which is to sit down. She doesn't exactly want to be away from me when she's on a runaway, she just doesn't want the leash. But if I sit in one place long enough, after a while she just comes to me. So I'm waiting for her on a park bench with a totally non-scenic view of Stanton Hospital, and she's running around doing her own thing, and running past me once in a while.

Then, I don't see her for a long time. I know there are other dogs on the trail and they might have found her because they're barking, but normally she'd come back to me when confronted with three large dogs. So why is she not coming?


Now I have a dilemma. Maybe she's gone back to the house on her own and the dogs are barking at something else, and I should get back to the house myself before she annoys the neighbours. But if she's still on this side and I cross Franklin, then she'll cross as well, on her own, and that will be bad.


So, I get off the bench and start walking along the trail, and a man asks me if I'm looking for a dog. "Why, yes," I says. "What does she look like?" he says. And I say a foot tall and orange, and he says he saw some kids carrying such a dog in the other direction on the trail.

Good grief! Some kids stole my dog!

Ok. Fine. I follow the trail and promptly find the kids, along with some adults who have also asked me questions about my dog. Turns out the adults recognized the dog and knew she didn't belong with the kids, and asked questions, and meanwhile I caught up with them. And the kids are two little girls who always ask to pet her when we see them, which explains why she let them pick her up when the three large dogs came along.

That sucks. Bad enough that kids are always interrupting our walks, but now she's going to let them grab her and carry her away? That's a problem. It wouldn't be a problem if she couldn't escape, though, so maybe a harness would be appropriate at this point. I put one on her the first day I had her and she fought like a demon, but whatever. If she's gonna keep on causing problems, she'll have to take the consequences like the rest of us. I can't have her getting abducted by any random kid she's met before.

Anyway, the girls gave her back, but they kept wanting to hold her some more, and kiss her, and make her ride their bikes (???), and otherwise interact with her, which was incredibly annoying because I wanted to go to bed. Finally an older sister showed up and dragged them away, and I continued towards the house... only to run into more kids who like to pet Tinky-Winky every time they see her.

F@@@@@@@@@@@ck! Seriously, I've been working in full sunlight, in 24 to 30 C, 10 hours a day, for three weeks, five days the first two weeks and six days this week, and I only have 38 hours off before I have to do it again, and I'm really, really f'ing tired, and I have to be up in eight hours, and whatever the Ford people's kids are doing running around unsupervised at 21:30 talking to strangers, I JUST WANT TO GO TO BED.

I really hate Yellowknife.


Vi said...

Have you tried a martingale collar? They tighten up when the dog pulls, so shibas can't slip out of them. I recommend the Lupine brand, as they have a lifetime guarantee. Lupine calls their martingale collars, "combo collars".

Mongoose said...

I used to have one, she lost it while running off leash. I wasn't very fond of it anyway, it was choking her too much. I think it's better for her health if I just watch her and avoid pulling on the leash.