Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I'm teaching my dog how to sail

Okay, not really. We don’t own a sailboat, and even if we wanted to go to the local lakes and rent one, now is certainly not the time of year to do it! But I am using sailing lingo to train Juliet, sort of.

Our morning walk, M-F, is the same route, chosen because we encounter the least amount of traffic. We head up the street and around the block, but when we get to the end of the other block, we do an about face to come back. This is because the street we would walk to make a complete circuit around the block has no shoulders, there are no sidewalks, and though it isn’t a “busy” road, it is a regular flow of traffic. It’s not safe, so we turn around.

One day as we neared the point of return, I found myself calling to the dog, “Juliet, ready about? Hard a’lee,” and led her around in an arc to begin back up the street. Why not? I am now working with her more in a training mode, so that the lead will be unnecessary to get her to reverse her direction no matter where we’re walking. And though she’s a smart dog, and usually learns quickly, she’s not buying it. I can hear her now, “Geez Mom, don’t you know anything? The wind is not in our favor for this tack…” Oh well. It amuses me, and maybe, just maybe, one of these days she’ll surprise me and she’ll learn how to sail.

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