Sunday, 28 November 2010

Group walking

I am guessing you wouldn't expect me to see a group of dogs and feel scared. If I am honest I wouldn't have expected it myself....here's the thing I felt real fear. Fear for what could happen and for Flute.

To come across 12 barking, cursing GSD's all off lead and all caught up in the excitement of a walk and realised how quickly a afternoon walk can turn into a nightmare. Did something happen? Not at all, thank goodness.

What made this so different from what we do?

Leads, we at least carry leads.
Control, of course we can't guarantee our guys are under control 100% all of the time but with six each at the most we know who to watch for and they know what the routine is when we meet people.
Exercise, our guys are walked and walked regularly yes they are still excited but it is excited about this walk rather than excited at A walk.
Fear, we fear that things could go wrong. Fear that we will show ourselves up and that we may upset someone...
We don't walk known aggressive dogs without muzzles or/and lines.

I had to stop myself lifting Flute up! All the possible scenarios where running through my mind and I could feel myself getting wound up. I felt such relief when I whistled at the little lad and he turned and ran straight at me( and the primula), without the dogs following him.

It is a revelation to me, I understand that a group of dogs can feel threatening but I always take great care....now I also understand how it feels to feel fear, it isn't nice.

I always thought knowledge helps to reduce fear, to be able to read the situation and act accordingly yet I now know that knowledge sometimes increases the fear. Great! So now I need to go away and have a good think.

Maybe this isn't new...I was always surprised when I was younger that the horse handlers who had the most experience, where the ones who took more care. I took it as fear or reluctance whereas it was likely to be sensible self preservation. Is this another example of balance? Oh I do find balance, consistency and patience to be so tedious on occasions! Once in a while I'd like to go by the seat of my pants, go in like a bull in a china shop and see what happens...

Next time I meet a old lady walking her plump pooch and she hurriedly lifts it up I will no longer feel so frustrated and upset I will remember how it feels to be worried and scared....



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