What I am about to tell you you might attribute to jealousy. Abby Jo is here, prancing around, getting attention; Boscoe is injured, getting sympathy. You might think that Riley is just trying to get us to pay attention to him, too.
But no. What I am about to tell you is another Riley peculiarity that has been going on for some time now--a year, or more--and lately has intensified.
He puts the brakes on. On solo walks, without Boscoe, he simply refuses to go. We'll be walking along at a brisk pace, just Riley and me, or just Riley and Doug, out for a good long fast walk to California or around the lake on the high road, and about a third of the way into it, Riley will suddenly--stop. He turns around. He stares. He refuses to budge. You try to move him, he digs in. He stares and stares in the direction we came.
I am pretty sure that he is looking for Boscoe.
I think he forgets that it was just the two of us on this walk, and he is so used to waiting for Boscoe to catch up that he can't help himself. He stares and stares and I cannot get him to go.
Treats don't help.
Talking excitedly in a high squeaky voice doesn't help.
Dragging him doesn't help.
Breaking into a run does help, usually--he loves to run, and he'll forget about the absent Boscoe and trot along with me, but when I slow to a walk, he stops again.
Right now this is particularly frustrating because with his recent injury, Boscoe can go on no walks at all.
We are just back from an aborted walk to California. About eight blocks from home, maybe ten, he stopped and started pulling hard in the direction we had come. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of the street at the time.
I managed to drag him across the street, and using treats, jogging, squeaky voice, and altering the route (suddenly dashing down unfamiliar alleys! Exciting! Adventure!) I was able to cajole and prod and get him to go another three or four blocks, but that was it. He stopped every ten or twelve feet and I finally gave up.
As soon as I turn toward home, he trots along quite happily.
Now he and Boscoe are lying on the front porch, side by side, and Abby Jo is busily trotting around the house, waiting for me to give her a thyroid pill (she has to wait six more minutes), and all seems calm. But me, I'm frustrated. I wanted to walk my dog, and lately my dog has been saying no.
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