Rowlf never got trained very well. He got kicked out of The Dog Whisperer's obedience class for being disobedient. Nicky tried to train him by reasoning with him. Manny tried to train him by threatening violence. Poor Rowlf. And now that Nicky's off to college, Rowlf is despondent. So we decided to go for a hike with him yesterday on the Arroyo Seco Trail above JPL. There were signs all over the place with a little icon of a dog walker, a dog, and a leash tethering them together. We got the message. Plus, we don't totally trust Rowlf off leash. I should reword that: we don't trust what strangers would do if Rowlf were off leash. Rowlf is actually just trying to be friendly, but sometimes strangers don't get it when a 76-pound energetic shepherd mix comes bounding up to them to say hello. We met one woman on the trail who convinced us to "liberate" Rowlf from his leash to play with her 8-month old shepherd/boxer mix. Rowlf, after asserting dominance in the usual doggy way, was in doggie heaven. But a pebble in his paw sent us on our way downhill, and he was back on leash. Thinking he could then say, "Hi!" to any other dog he met, we ran into a small Chihuahua-looking thing, on leash, walking with his owners. Rowlf was just SO excited to see this little friend that he strained and -- omigod -- slipped out of his collar! Little Pepe's owners freaked as Rowlf ran over to greet their diminutive pup. They pulled up on the leash, and the next thing we knew Pepe was flying off the ground, swinging around by the neck, looking like something out of The Exorcist. Luckily, we grabbed Rowlf before Pepe could be decapitated. I mean, really, what did the owners think Rowlf would have done? Sniffed their dog to death? That little protective maneuver could have injured the poor thing, or worse. And Rowlf doesn't understand the mixed messages about which dogs he can play with and which ones he can't. Neither do I, actually. I'll attach some photos showing how "well-behaved" Rowlf was on the hike.
The Home Stretch
12 years ago