|Golden Gate Park
... Page 2
Millie goes swimming in Stowe Lake
|"Hey Tyler!" Millie asked "Will you
keep an eye out for me while I check out this
water?" Tyler smiled and looked at Verne
who simply nodded.
Millie was about to do
what Collie had done before her on her first
visit to Stowe Lake.
Collie at right)
was going to go in the lake!
All three dogs conferenced when they encountered
strange scents from animals unfamiliar to them.
home in the Central Valley smelled like that!
(below) Millie thought Golden Gate Park
was the most wonderful place she had ever visited.
Golden Gate Park Adventure
Millie had to stay on the flexi -lead until she calmed down.
Then all three dogs were off leash until we reached our car
after dark...a long adventure because the mobility scooter
batteries ran down.
Tyler would not pull when I commanded
"Pull! pull, pull, pull!" I started to panic.
I don't own a
cell phone so asked someone to call a cab. Nice couple from
New Zealand at Lloyd Lake.
They put the call on speaker
phone and the cab company's hold message was about
installing the "booking ap" for cabs. I made jokes about
that. After a long wait the dispatcher came
on. When we asked for a cab to Lloyd Lake he hung up.
much for the theory about having a cell phone for an
The sun went down
We were miles from
the car without our LED headlights (regular night gear)
because I'd never planned on being stuck in the Park at
night. Millie and Collie darted in and out of the trails
homeless people use to get to their hidden camps. Twice I
had to pee in the bushes. With the sun already set, no LED
lights, miles from our car, no cell phone, and all alone...I
I pleaded with Tyler to
Finally I said "Please."
When I felt him pulling I praised —"YES! Good boy!"
and that was the key.
My mistake was to repeat "Pull" — just like when a frustrated dog owner yells
sit sit sit sit SIT!!!" Dogs need a simple word
spoken in a consistent manner followed by praise when the
command is fulfilled.
|Learning how to
get Tyler to pull like a
At first I screwed it up
yelling the command over and over —
Tyler thought he wasn't
doing what I wanted. He got confused. Imagine
if you commanded "Here!" repeatedly — but
the dog was already there right in front of you; he
had already done what you wanted but you kept
yeliing the command instead of praising.
Tyler doesn't understand English;
but he understands when I'm happy. So when he put his
powerful body into the task (I could feel him pulling) I became super happy
"Yes! Good boy!"
which made him happy, too. That was all it took to
give him the feedback to doing what I wanted. If you
understand dogs then you appreciate that they just
want to know what you want and will do it to make
Tyler kept a steady pull
that tired my arm because
I was holding his harness handle while he applied enough
force to keep the scooter moving. The strain on my arm began
to hurt so I braced the inside of the elbow behind my left
dog power kept the voltmeter needle in the
yellow zone as long as I praised him. We kept
moving at about 2 MPH, but if I tried to go faster the needle
dropped into the red causing the circuit to disconnect power from
the load of the motor. On and on we crawled slowly in
the dark while I held on to my powerful 4-wheel drive German
The collie sisters ran a perimeter about us
investigating everything they encountered. In the dark I
couldn't see them but a quick whistle signal brought them
trotting over to show they were still with the pack.
Finally we reached the car parked in front of the
The dogs thought it had all just been a wonderful, fun day.
Driving home they lay on the floor as if dead. Collie
snuggled up to Tyler, front legs crossed over each other's,
heads touching as they slept. Millie's head lay like a dish
rag where I could give her a pet once in a while. I was
proud of her.
At home the sheep were
bleating for their hay, the livestock guardian wanted her
dinner, the rabbits waiting for alfalfa...eggs to
collect...and then to bed.
More adventures yet to come...