Five Things We Couldn’t Do Before

Today’s trip to the park was nothing short of miraculous. At least five things happened that would never have happened this time last year.

1. Voluntary checking in. What happened to Mr. I Can’t Look At You I Have To Constantly Scan For Danger?!

Autumnal Equinox at the park

2. Sniffing a tree. No, wait, that one has always happened. How about continuing to calmly sniff the tree even after a strange man (in a hat!) walked up out of the bushes? Not the trail. The bushes.

Autumnal Equinox at the park

3. Eating some cookies.

Autumnal Equinox at the park

4. Loose-leash walking. He’s always had terrible leash manners at this park, because there’s no clearly defined trail.

Autumnal Equinox at the park

5. Sitting down, hanging out, watching the cars go by. (!!!)

Autumnal Equinox at the park


A very good day.

14 thoughts on “Five Things We Couldn’t Do Before

  1. This is wonderful stuff! I’m so happy for you and proud of Silas. Is that a Ruffwear leash? How do you like that sort of clip?

    I’m working on shaping the voluntary check-ins with Ruby because actually getting her attention with a cue “watch me” or “look” or even just her name is pretty unsuccessful. I took the clicker and some freeze-dried bison out on our solo walk last night and was quite impressed with how much focus I got (any focus from her outside is a major accomplishment).


    1. It is a Ruffwear, and I’ve been really pleased with it. It’s well over a year old now. I will say, when we first bought it, Silas had the kind of harness that you buckle, then clip the leash through one ring from each side of the buckle. When he pulled hard, the two rings would actually spread the leash clip open part way. On his Roman harness with the single leash ring, it’s perfect.

      I prefer voluntary check-ins whether I think I can get them by calling or not. There’s something about cued attention that just rubs me the wrong way a little bit, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. And that’s not just because I don’t have it–I have decent luck with it these days unless Silas is really stressing.


  2. Oh! I’ve been following you guys for a few months, but I’ve poked around enough of your archive to know what a huge deal this is for you guys. Between vicarious happiness for you guys and the picture in my favorite dog-pic-category (mid treat taking! So cute!), I think I must have little hearts and rainbows coming out of my head as I read. So wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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