Though we only encountered a few people, each time we heard voices approaching I called Toby to me and leashed him until they were past us. As we approached the area of Starr Creek frequented by a pair of mallards, I called and leashed him again, while telling Ted about the last time Toby and I were there. (This is the spot where Toby famously swam the creek after the ducks but refused to swim back and waited for Ted to rescue him). It's been hot lately, and the creek is quite low now. Toby took off like a shot, leaped the creek, and began to chase the ducks who not surprisingly took flight, squawking angrily. I called, "Toby, come, come, come!", pretending to have a carefree, happy voice. To my delight, Toby wheeled about mid-run, leaped the creek again, and careened to a sit at my feet.
|View of Starr Creek|
"Well that's not surprising. I'm the one who took him to all those classes!" I snapped back.
|Ducks have been here lately...|
It's true, Ted always seems to come home from the Arboretum with a tale of mischief to tell. And it's also true that I rarely have any problems with Toby's recall. But I think until Monday afternoon Ted assumed that because Toby has given his heart to Ted, he'll automatically do whatever he asks. And that is the kind of thinking that gets so many dogs into trouble. Love and obedience simply do not equate. Even the most affectionate dogs require training and lots of practice at obeying commands.
|Best buddies at play.|
|Toby (age 1) practices his "sit".|
In all seriousness though, it's important that we dog lovers keep spreading the word about the importance of training. It can be the difference between a well-loved pet and a banished or discarded animal leading a life of lonely misery. No dog deserves that.
Who does your dog listen to? When the answer is "no one", it's time for an obedience class.