Well, leave it to Riley to take the swagger out of my step. I'd been bragging on him (which is really bragging on myself, of course) about how well he's doing with his training.
And then this morning happened.
The three kids who live in the half-yellow, half-gray house (long story) came flying around the corner of their house just as we were approaching. They were yelling and chattering, as kids will do, cutting across the snow right toward us.
There was no way I was going to get Riley to watch me--no way. And, once again, because of the snow, there was nowhere to go. And since they were running in our direction, turning around and walking away would not have worked, because that was the way they were headed.
No, we were on a trajectory of doom.
So as they flew through the snow at us, I tried to drag Riley up the stairs of the house next door. He barked and lurched and growled and thrashed. The kids flew right by without a care. He did not make an impression on them, poor ferocious dog who nobody takes seriously.
So I tried to settle him down and got him back on the sidewalk, and at that moment the kids' dad came around the house toward us. Bark. Lunge. Thrash. (Dad looked way more startled than the kids had.)
After that, there was no dealing with Riley. I made him stop and watch me after things calmed down, but he was only half paying attention. He was on High Alert for the rest of the morning. High, high, high alert. His whole body was tense, and the times I did succeed in getting him to sit and watch me (once for a noisy truck), he quivered (though he might have been shivering; it was four below zero again today).
And then at the very end he lost it and went after a city bus. Totally disgraced himself.
We're not giving up. But I have lost my swagger.
On a Full Moon in May
5 hours ago