a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: We Need To Get Out More

Sunday, September 29, 2019

We Need To Get Out More

SUMMARY: Limited dog activities equals limited interesting photos

There's a new chat channel at work for sharing dog photos, with a different theme daily. I often think, oh, yeah, I have a photo of Tika or Boost or Remington or... doing that! And then I think, jeez, I never do anything with Chip and Zorro. (Which makes the challenges of taking them places worse and worse...)

So last night I took them to the pet store. Early success--Chip jumped right into the car (not the crate; the center of the car through the door, which he wouldn't do even there last weekend when I tried). So that's progress again. No idea why sometimes he decides that getting into the car is evil.  Actually--after last night--maybe I do: Too many scary experiences? Such a worry-wart.

I took one dog at a time into the store. Chip looked a wee concerned about visiting soil and trees in the parking lot, but moved along pulling hard at the leash.  Trotted through the automatic doors looking a little worried still, sniffed at the huge pallet of dog food just inside, and then, when my back was turned (I might have pulled the leash and said, come on), he slipped a little maybe? and there he was in that "I don't know how to stand up on this scary slippery floor and I'm too scared to lie down" pose. Oh, right, I forgot the whole incident at the guest house over 4th of July. I got him up, he took a few ugly muscles-locked steps, tail between his legs, and then froze. I finally got him another 20 feet in, where he dove for the the cashier's mat behind the cash register. So I said, "let's go outside," turned and headed for the exit, and he trotted quickly and without incident the whole way across the floor, tail low but not between his legs. 

Outside, I walked him down the sidewalk a little way, then back into the store. He was fine until he got to the exact spot where he went halfway down the first time, stopped short, started to skirt it, then went back into the "I don't know how to stand up on this scary slippery floor" mode. So I took him back to the car.

Next up: Zorro. Overstimulated just being out of the car as I walked calmly thru the parking lot. I had a pocket full of Zuke's treats (which Chip had had no interest in from the beginning = fear stress = would *you* eat if you were scared?). Zorro actually turned and looked at me when I said his name, so we practiced a couple of sits, then letting him sniff around, then more name-call and response, and then, finally, a Down. (Rewards for each success! Yay!) Across the parking lot and into the store. He's whine-yipping the whole time... not loudly, not constantly, but still overexcited. We walked up and down a couple of aisles, letting him sniff almost as much as he wanted to. When we passed aisles with dogs, he looked and whined but no horrid reactivity; good boy.  (He even Sat when the clerk told him to for a treat!) So I took him back out while we were still successful.

Chip was in his crate, standing, tail between his legs, when I opened the door. Traumatized by being left in the car? Left alone in the car?  No wonder he wants to stay home.

Such a challenge.  I felt so on edge with both of them that I didn't dare take the time for any kind of photo.

We need to get out more.  I will try.


  1. Seems stressful for sure, for all of you. :(

    1. And I went there because I thought it would be a treat for them. Nope. DEFINITELY need to get out more.