Monday, March 21, 2011


Picture this. There is a woman walking down the street with two dogs. In one hand she has two leashes. In the other hand she is balancing the bag for what the dogs are about to do and a squirt bottle. The squirt bottle is for the one dog that is being trained to not bark at anything that moves. She has tried voice commands and positive reinforcement with treats for this dog, but to no avail. So after a little reading, she decides on the squirt bottle. One quick little pull of the trigger on the bottle when the dog barks and this stops the unnecessary barking. The mere presence of this bottle on walks is working at this point.

This woman is feeling quite proud of herself. It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, the birds are singing. She hears the things that you can hear when it is quiet. Birds are chirping and there is the serene sound of trees blowing in the gentle breeze. Life is good. Really good. And then they turn the corner. The woman's cell phone rings. She answers. And in the same exact moment a person with three dogs rounds the corner coming right at her. These are big dogs. The woman's are moderately sized dogs. Her dogs start barking. The three other dogs start barking. The woman with the two dogs is still on the cell phone and is trying to end the conversation. She drops the phone. She still has a handle on the almighty squirt bottle though! Squirt, squirt. Doesn't work with this much distraction.

Then the woman bends down to pick up her cell phone. In the process of doing this her dogs have chosen that moment to run circles around her. Because the afore mentioned dogs have leashes the length of horse leads, no really, they are made of horse lead rope. They have been in the family for over 15 years. Guaranteed to never break. Anyway, I digress. So the dogs have wrapped or tangled their owner in their leashes so badly that it looks like she's been wrapped up like a mummy. Now what to do? Definitely in a pickle. Cell phone on the ground. Squirt bottle has no power. Tied up like a mummy. And at this point the other dog owner passes by and says, "aren't these spring-like days so peaceful and quiet?"

Well, the walk started out that way. Quiet and peaceful. So when the woman with three big dogs passes on the sidewalk, the woman with two dogs shifts into recovery mode. First unwrap the leashes from around her legs. Pick up the cell phone. And the squirt bottle. She asks the dogs to sit and they do. She rewards them with a treat. It is important for this woman to let her dogs know that she's still the one in charge. Yeah, right. And they finish their walk.

Was the walk all that they had hoped for? Not exactly. Was it funnier than funny? Most definitely. This woman entered her house after the walk and was about to turn on music, when instead she decided to just open the window. And let the quiet in.

©2011 Ann M. De Broux

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