So what's a dog that's bored out of her mind supposed to do? Surf the net.
And guess what I've found on the net? A funny story about another doggie. What's more funny is that he shares the same name as me - Happy! His owner calls him Hap for short, and that's how LS calls me too at times! Happy reading!
Happy and The Leaf
A walk is a walk until a hapless fallen leaf appears.
By Peter Gerstenzang
I have my dog well-trained these days. He can sit, give me his paw and, when he hears a Ramones song, slam dance. I’m trying to change this to the pogo.
Happy weighs 55 pounds now, and I’m running out of stories for the plasterer about those dog-shaped holes in the walls.
Generally, my Golden is settling down – with one horrifying exception. It’s called The Leaf. I know, it may seem harmless when it simply sits on the lawn. But when the breeze blows, Happy chases after The Leaf like it holds the Secret of Life. Since I’m usually attached to Happy by a leash at these moments, off I go. So, forget the plasterer. How about when your orthopedist looks at your injured rotator cuff and asks what baseball team you pitch for? I’m too embarrassed to tell him my dog caused this. Plus, I’m running out of excuses about why he’s not getting free tickets to my games. Help!
Initially, our walks were reasonably good. Happy tugged me along like there was a sale on Beggin’ Strips down the street. I didn’t panic. I read that if you keep reversing direction, your dog will stop pulling. It didn’t mention that if you do it too often, he’ll stop walking altogether, implying, “The street is spinning. Make it stop!” But, it was manageable.
Then Hap discovered his love of leaves.
Certainly these objects seem innocent when just sitting there. So do landmines. One day a few months ago, a breeze kicked up, the leaves moved, and off we went, Happy running, me looking like the tail of a kite. I tried every command to get him to stop. In every language. I’ll tell you, if saying “Anschlag!” won’t halt your dog, nothing will.
I’ve tried training Happy to not chase leaves, but he’s savvy. If I throw some into the distance, he doesn’t move. Alright, maybe the living room isn’t the ideal place to test this theory. But even out on the lawn, if I toss a leaf, Happy just sits and stares at me – sympathetically. I know that look. They give it to Blanche Dubois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” right before she’s carted off to an asylum.
Recently I read something that gave me hope. It said to keep treats with me and bargain. Whenever Happy wants to chase a leaf, give him a treat instead. It worked – briefly. However, the ratio of leaves to treats is very disheartening. It’s, like, 50 to one. Eventually, I run out and off we go. So, unless I can get a dump truck from The Blue Dog Bakery to follow us, I’ll just have to wait until Happy gets older. They say this chasing business abates – eventually.
That’s encouraging. But then, again, spring is coming. You know what that means. Yep, leaf blowers! So friends, say a prayer for me. As hard as things have been, I still think soon, I’m going to be in for the ride of my life.