Training Milestone

  • 2 min read
Two dogs in harnesses going for walk. Pit bull and corgi mix

Today was a training milestone, not for the horses, for the dogs.   Like many of you, I have farm dogs.  I open the backdoor in the morning, and the adventures begin.  Hector is the pit bull.  He spends the day talking to the vet, or the farrier, or the carpenter.  He chases squirrels and sometimes plays with the pony, and always comes running for a mint when I dismount.

If the weather is good, they stay outside until lunchtime and then sit next to my desk all afternoon.  What they don’t do is walk on a leash.

Last week L and I went home to Chicago for a few routine appointments.  Orthodontist, car repair, haircut, etc.  We brought the dogs back to Florida with us.  Because I knew that walking them on a leash would mean slipped collars, I bought harnesses so that I could drag them places.

Indignant hardly describes it.  The idea that one would have to poop within a limited time frame is absurd, and having someone watch-that is horrifying.

During my freshman year in college, a gal in my dorm could not come to terms with the lack of privacy in the bathrooms, so she would drive two-hours to use the potty at home when nature called.  My dogs have been slow to understand that their yard is sixteen hours away and under two feet of snow.  Driving home to poop is not an option.

They have been condo dogs for one week, and I am happy to announce that they get it.  I put their harnesses on, we walk out the front door, turn left, and Ziva squats.  Immediately.  (The boy dog never had a problem with marking the first piece of greenery in his path.) One half-lap for the serious business.  No more endlessly circling the building singing “piddle piddle,” with two dogs going in different directions or planting their feet and refusing to move.

Today is Saturday, a chance to sleep in, so of course, I was awake at 5 am.  The dogs jumped out of bed, happily allowed me to put on their harnesses, and didn’t even require a full lap of the building before all of their tasks were complete.  I could tell a light bulb had gone on and that they were proud of themselves.  

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