Well, I hang my head in abject shame . .
I have hurt the feelings of my pup.
When nighttime comes and its time for her 'walkies' we have to have her on a leash. There are coyotes around here, as well as owls. She would make a very nice appetizer for an owl . . . and coyotes, though a member of the dog family, have no compunctions about savoring the taste of a young pup.
We had tried to train her to a hand held gizmo that feeds out a leash . . . and has a trigger you can pull when you want to retrieve the leash.
She doesn't like it.
Not one bit.
Last night, I decided we would try it again. I also needed to establish that I am "the alpha dog." The boss. The one in charge. The one to whom the pup looks to for guidance and leadership.
Some guidance. Some leadership.
I hooked the leash up to her choke-chain collar . . . which she only reluctantly accepted. I carried her outside, set her down and the grass and suggested she "go walkies," "go tinkle," "go poopie," and other cute little suggestions.
Evelyn joined me outside and the pup perked up a bit. She actually began to walk around a bit on the grass . . . then the leash got caught in a Malibu Light which runs parallel to our sidewalk. That brought her up short and startled her a bit. I unwrapped the leash and tried to walk her a bit on the grass.
Evelyn went back in the house.
It was me and this wild beast, all 4.5 lbs of her, alone, at night, in the wild. Well, in the wilds of our front yard.
I tried to walk her again. She scooched down and dug her heels in. I jerked the leash, which jerks the choke chain, and which normally causes a pup to react to the noise and respond. She pulled back harder and began to whimper. I spoke to her in soothing tones, trying to calm her down and try again. I walked, again, gave a gentle tug on the leash . . . she howled, whimpered and backed up. I tried one more time, same result.
Time to concede defeat.
No use pushing the issue. She was now frightened.
I sought to lead her back to the front door and she only reluctantly went there, where she normally makes a bee line when it's time to go in. But, she still had that damned leash on, she didn't like it, and was reluctant to do anything associated with the leash. I opened the door and she was reluctant to even go in the house. Finally, she did.
I bent down to take the leash off of her collar and she cowered again. She was afraid. Of me? Her daddy? I spoke to her again in soothing tones.
As soon as the leash was off she ran like a blue darter straight for the bedroom, where Evelyn was sorting out some paperwork.
I followed her and sought to reach down and pet her.
She crawled under the bed. Didn't want anything more to do with daddy, ever again, for the rest of her life. Daddy bad!
She stayed under the bed for a couple hours.
I fretted over this incident all night.
This morning, Evelyn carried her in to my office while I was at the keyboard. I turned around and Trixie had her head buried into Evelyn's shoulder. She didn't want to even look at daddy every again. She would peek at me, with those sorrowful eyes.
"Was daddy bad, Trixie? Are you gonna forgive daddy? Y'know, people make mistakes, just like puppies do."
Her tail began to wag. I figured I just might be on the way to being forgiven.
Evelyn said, "here, go love your daddy," and handed her over to me. Trixie had a slight recoil at the thought of being held by this big ogre again . . . but she allowed herself to come into my arms, albeit reluctantly, and then snuggled right into my shoulder and the tail began to wag feverishly. I even got a couple of puppy kisses.
I think I done been forgiven!
And "the alpha dog" has clearly been established.
She has asserted her leadership position in this household and I, like putty in her hands, will likely accede to her demands.
Oh, I'll make the occasional feeble attempt to try and condition her to the leash, and to follow commands to "Stay," "Sit," and "Go." And she will likely condition me to her responses of, "I don't wanna."