The irony of walking other people's dogs when my own dog refuses to leave a 20 foot radius in front of our building is much fuel for my own self-deprecating humor. It's very much 'the cobbler's children have no shoes'... except that walking Basil is not something I don't have time for, or don't want to do. In fact I began walking other people's dogs because Basil refused to go for walks with me. It made me sad.
Today he made me as happy as if I'd just met Cesar Milan. Happier. Because today Basil walked with me.
I honestly do not remember when he last walked with me - it's been that long. From time to time he has deigned to cross the street to say hello to the lovely Mr. & Mrs. Chow who run a cleaner's, or to go almost all the way down our block (because he didn't realize how far we were going!) But a real walk, a walk that involved leaving the block, crossing an avenue and circling back? Please. Mr. Basil don't do THAT sort of nonsense. Until today.
I saw my yummy Mexican Dog Whisperer hero deal with a situation like Basil's once. A dog who would 'put on the breaks' at a certain point on his block and would walk no farther. Of course, Cesar fixed the problem. I watched the segment over and over and then applied the principles to Basil - and truly, it worked. But it only worked for about a week. Then Basil pulled rank and that was that.
Today I just... well, I'm not sure what happened to day. It's gorgeous out, Basil didn't seem anxious to run back in and I decided to push the envelope (or the leash) a little and it WORKED. There was no fighting, no tugging, no pulling and best of all, no tail between his legs. He walked like a ... dare I say it? He walked like a 'regular' dog! For more than 20 minutes!
I worry about his joints hurting, but he didn't seem to be in any sort of discomfort and he actually seemed happy to be walking. I cannot express how thrilled I am about this. It may not seem like such a huge deal, but anyone who knows this dog knows it is HUGE.
Will he do it again later? Or even tomorrow? I can only hope, and try again. But for now I am reveling in the thrill of having walked my OWN dog. I couldn't be prouder.