The opinions expressed in previous entries may or may not express the current opinion of the author.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

George Has to Muster Up His Courage

George has been acting all distant towards me. Can't blame him - the poor lad is probably feeling totally bored and neglected.

Today was a nice, relatively warm Sunday - with the snow still pretty on the fields, but no ice on the road -  so I took him out for a walk.

There's got to be some grass under here somewhere.
He set off at a fine pace down the road, veering off now and then to see if he could find anything growing along the verges, and stopping occasionally to survey the distant fields. At times, I had to run to keep up with him. Other times, I stopped and waited for him. And sometimes I said, "George, I'm bored, let's keep going."

Checking it out.
Wonder who lives here and if they keep any grass about the place?

Then terror loomed on the horizon in the form of our neighbor's flock of sheep. George has seen them once before, but once was not enough to convince him they are not a serious threat to life and limb.

Actually he looked much more alarmed than this.
From this point, he proceeded by prancing and jogging and circling. His attitude towards my ability to handle the ovine menace was evinced by his continually pushing in front and placing himself between me and the ghastly flock.

Here I am, safe behind George.
Hmm, what does that tell you about George's esteem for my leadership capacity? I can't even be trusted to fend off a few sheep.

We continued our walk down a lane, George very much on edge with the sheep now behind us. We came upon two horses in a paddock. George whinnied at them but remained much more concerned about the sheep.

After we'd turned back toward home, George's worry began to subside.  Finally I thought he was calm enough to practice a couple of things.

We practiced yielding his shoulder over at the walk. Quite good. And we practiced the duckling walk, i.e. I am the mother duck, and he is the duckling, and he walks nicely tucked into my shadow. Well, sort of. The deal is that he can walk a little ahead of me if he wants, but if I feel put upon and dragged about, I go on strike. As soon as I feel uncomfortable, I stop in my tracks and repeat, "Duckling!" in an annoying voice. After a couple of repetitions, George turns his head back toward me, quite kindly, and then we continue walking side by side. 

Back in the pasture, I realized our excursion had restored me somewhat into George's good graces. After I released George, Bridget came over and was very affectionate towards me. George returned to shoo her off. She crept back and was banished a few times. Finally George, almost grudgingly, put me next to him and stood with me by his shoulder.

She may not be good for much, but dammit, she's mine.
I guess our walk restored our connection a little bit. George is a mighty complex guy, who doesn't hesitate to show his annoyance, but who nevertheless does not wear his heart on his sleeve. I really think he feels things quite deeply and doesn't always know what to do about it. We need to go for walks more often.

p.s. Today Bridget mastered the technique of completely undoing my anorak zipper.


  1. I loved this post. I somehow could feel it. What a face on your George.

    And June, thank you so much. It looks like I've found a barefoot specialist through one of the links you provided to me the other day. I appreciate it very much. Such a relief.

  2. Thanks, Muddy K!

    I'm glad you've found a trimmer - I hope they work out well for you. I'll look forward to seeing your posts on the subject!