Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oliver Tours the Town

Oliver has made great strides since our first pre-move trip to this community, when he wouldn't even go to the end of the driveway on leash. I know he was leash trained before coming to live with me, but since then he was always off leash in the pasture. His reaction to being leashed again was humourous if not downright frustrating at times. And so we were taking things one step - or four paws - at a time. First the end of the driveway and back. Then past the neighbour's house and back. Next, the end of the block and back. On a good day, he would go a block and a half.

All of a sudden, three nights ago, a lightbulb went off in that tired little brain of his and he "got it". In fact, he didn't just "get it", he reverted to the behaviours he exhibited when I first adopted him, expecting to go for a walk each evening. On Thursday night, around 8:00 pm, he began pacing back and forth between me and the door; we had gone for a little walk to the end of the block and back earlier in the day, and so I assumed he just needed to go out in the yard. But no, he didn't need to pee. He didn't need to poop. He just kept looking at me expectantly, whether he was outside or in.

And so I grabbed his leash and took him for a walk, hoping to settle him down. WELL!!! Off he went, down the block, happy as a clam in sand. I confess, he wasn't "leading" me, or even heeling at my side, but he trotted along behind (okay, "trot" is an exageration - he is almost as good at dawdling as Princess Belle is), and any time I went to turn around he sat down and refused to head back. He went to the park and back again, a total of about seven blocks round trip.

Friday, same thing. And last night.....well, there was no stopping him. He not only went to the park, he happily introduced himself to some boys skateboarding, some seniors out for a stroll, other dog walkers, and anyone who chanced to look his way and say hello. He proceeded past the park, down to the sea walk, and did the whole route the big dogs usually do, except we reversed direction for the return trip rather than doing a loop that involves climbing 52 stairs.

We stood for a while watching the boats in the bay:

Boats in Osbourne Bay at sunset

He stopped at the park to watch a family with five boys under the age of ten (!!!) blowing bubbles, and a five year old was tickled to find out he shared the same name as the dog.

Bubbles in the park

Because Oliver is a slow walker (ssslllllooooooooowwwwwwwwww walker), we were gone an hour, and the big dogs ended up having their evening walk in the "almost dark".

Charley on the sea walk at dusk

The harbour at dusk

The big dogs didn't mind the late night walk, but tonight I will have to start a wee bit earlier if Oliver is going to take me on another snail's pace tour of the town.


Anonymous said...

Oh Oliver I'm so proud of you. It must be all that fresh sea air making you feel young again.


Anonymous said...

Oh Oliver... I too am so very proud of you. Can't wait to have you show the Whippetboyz your new hometown. See you Thursday.


Anonymous said...

Jean- He is just getting you in practice for when I visit. Sounds to me like Oliver and I travel at the same speed.

Big Sis

Jean said...

Actually , Big Sis, he moves more at mom's pace - without her walker! But I think Belle and you, and mom and Oliver, would be a good fit - you've just signed up to walk the shelties while you're here!! Hahahahahaha!

Black Jack's Carol said...

I'm so happy for Oliver! I loved your post. I was ambling along with you as the sun went down.