I’d like to know how I decided a dog for each son on his birthday was a good idea. I think the hamster may have just been too tired to run the wheel on that particular day, because it has become painfully obvious that not every synapse in my brain was firing.
Having lived five of his six years in an animal shelter before we met him last July, George still prefers the protection of his little corner, often refusing to venture even from the porch when I release him during my lunch break. So, Monday, taking advantage of the warmer weather, I strapped leashes to him and Dusty and hit the road, almost literally as the two wound their leashes around my legs in their own diabolical plot to thwart me. And when I paused in our trek and bent to tug at the straps hindering my movements and threatening my balance, Dusty immediately launched at my face to deliver some enthusiastic kisses, forcing me to close my eyes and my mouth so that I worked the knots blind and mute. Meanwhile, George, considering his exercise complete for the day, twisted in the direction of the house, stretched the leash I was trying to unwind as tight as he could, and locked every muscle in his body.
Having had a halfway engaged hamster for that episode, I learned a lesson. And the next day, I cajoled Younger into taking one leash and the attached dog. I think I said something real enticing like, “Get your shoes. We’re walking the dogs.”
And so, Younger and Dusty, both with the energy of the very young, pranced and wriggled and danced their way down the road. George and I preferred the more dignified, sedate pace of him lurching to a dead halt every ten feet and refusing another step. Then I would encourage, beg, and drag him until he decided I might be the boss for another ten feet.
When I had finally wrestled him the intended distance, with Younger and Dusty circling us at regular intervals, I urged George around a loop until we pointed in the direction of home. And George didn’t bother with the encouraging or begging. Nope, he went straight to dragging me. And I learned the difference between walking a dog and the dog walking me.
And I think the hamster has taken a permanent vacation because, determined I will win this particular battle, I intend to pull him out for another walk today.
I can’t let a dog think he’s smarter than me.
I have to prove it.