Wow. I didn't realize it had been so long since I last made an entry! But that's spring for you: home projects, work and cleanup just seem to take over. Now that summer's here, I can sit down and relax with the blog.
Before I get to Six Toes learning to walk on a leash, I need to talk about his best friend, Bully. Bully is a large brown dog of mixed boxer, ridgeback and gosh knows how many other breeds. He weighs a lot, near 80 pounds if I had to guess. He and Six Toes have been best buds since Six Toes came to stay with us. If Bully goes outside, Six Toes sits anxiously at the door, crying his eyes out. If you open the door, Six Toes shoots outside just because Bully's out there! He can't stand to be without him. So after a month or so of warm weather escape attempts to be with his friend, we decided the best thing would be to train Six Toes to walk outside.
The first thing we did is got him a little five-point harness. These are usually reserved for small dogs, but we needed Six Toes to get used to it. Anyhow, we put it on him and he spent about two hours trying to get out of it...he's never even worn a collar as long as he's been with us. After that he seemed to settle down. A day later we hooked a leash on the harness and took him outside with us the same time we took Bully outside for his walk. We stuck to the yard because we knew Six Toes doesn't know a lot about the outdoors. He spent considerable time attempting to chase bugs and birds. Cars scared him so much he stood up like a squirrel behind Bully. Everything was of interest to him...the grass, the air, the sun, the leaves, the ponds of water. We walked him outdoors for about 15 minutes and put him back. Each day when it's not raining we let him go outside with Bully once a day and it's helped Six Toes be more content when Bully's gone. The first thing he does when he goes outside is to greet Bully, bopping his head on his belly or chest or nose if he can reach it. They really love each other. Bully sometimes licks Six Toes, but he doesn't really like it...it's just too big and sloppy of a swipe!
Next week we're going to try taking Six Toes on a longer walk around the block with his buddy. I'm not sure how it will pan out, but we'll see how he does. Just pray there's no huge cat-hating dogs on the path!