Thursday, 1 April 2010

dogs reading their p-mails

An on-lead walk with Penny is a slow walk. An off-lead one is fast. You may ask why. Well, it's because she has to read each p-mail in our locality before we can move on, and if I'm attached to her by a lead, I have to wait around while she scans each telephone pole, fire hydrant, bush, grass clump or stone for a potential message.

Oh, did I mention that she also has to balance on three legs while she leaves her own comments on the state of the world? That takes time also.

So I laughed out loud when I read yesterday's Cartoon By Sheila. (Sheila has kindly given me permission to reproduce it here. Thanks, Sheila.)

(And I love the sign in the background of the cartoon.)

Sheila has set herself the challenge of posting 365 cartoons in 2010, so you might like to pop over there and see how she's going.


Amber-Mae said...

On-leash walk with me is faster than an off-leash walk because when I am off the leash, I LOVE to sniff for pee-mails & there are TONS of them in my neighborhood.

Love licks & Hugs,
Solid Gold Dancer

Honey the Great Dane said...

You're very kind! I only let Honey stop if I'm in the mood - otherwise I hurry her along! Our trainer in NZ told us that because people THINK dogs need to read pee-mail so they indulge it and so the dogs get worse - that ultimately they should walk when you do and follow your lead. I sort of compromise - it's the reason why boy dogs often cock their legs on everything and have to stop constantly on walks whereas girl dogs don't - in fact, both genders can just learn to pee at the beginning (empty their bladder) and then just walk (this is what he encourages his students/clients) but most people THINK boy dogs need to stop constantly and so they let them - and it becomes habit, whereas girl dogs never get to develop that habit.

I do know girl dogs who constantly stop to mark and boy dogs who don't...I notice with HOney that when she is on lead, she just pees at the beginning and then gets on with the walk but when she is off-leash, she will stop frequently to mark, which is fine with me. She understands the difference. As for pee-mail, I sort of compromise as I feel sorry for her - so if I have time and it's going to be a sedate walk anyway (not much excitement, old route), I let her take as long as she likes - but if I'm in a hurry or we;re somewhere she shouldn't really dawdle (*eg, town centre), then I keep up a brisk pace and expect her to stay with me. The key is that I'm deciding what kind of walk it should be. This seems to work for us quite well and I don't feel that she is deprived of checking pee-mail but at the same time, can maintain some control on our leashed walks! :-)

ps. great posts about the Fern Tree Gully expo!

JD and Max said...

Hi Penny - we loved this cartoon! FH is getting used to us catching up with our pee-mails now, she used to get really irritated by it but now she realises that we need to check some of them to keep up with the local happenings! Schnauzer snuggles - JD and Max.

parlance said...

Amber-Mae, it's the opposite with Penny. I just keep walking fast and she has a quick sniff and catches up. Obviously I am not assertive enough with her when she is on-lead.

parlance said...

Hsin-Yi, I think you've summarised the problem very well. Penny should walk quietly beside me, but I often feel guilty on a street-walk because it is less interesting for her, and then I let her dawdle along and sniff and pee everywhere.

However, it's not so bad, because she can walk quickly and sensibly. I work from home to some extent and have to rush to the post office to catch the mail on occasion, and then she knows we're definitely not stopping.

However, your comment has reminded me who should be in charge on a walk. It's all too easy to slack off and let her take charge.

parlance said...

JD and Max, it sounds as if you've got FH well-trained, as Penny has me trained.

However, as Hsin-Yi has reminded me, I guess I'd better sometimes let Penny know who's in charge. She is a really opinionated dog!