A Dog Walk to Remember

 

I'm Nicholas, Your Guest Dog Blogger...Would That Make Me a Dlogger?

Hello, my name is Nicholas, and I am a pint sized mutt with a big personality. My mom normally writes this blog, but she has been so busy with school these days that I took her on a walk this morning and then told her to relax while I take over. I figured it was the least I could do since she rescued me from a shelter in San Francisco a little over two months ago. My life has been so much better now that I don’t have to worry about where my next bowl of kibble is coming from.

We decided to go to our local hangout, Newhall Park in Concord. I am new to the area, but I really like this place. It has nice pathways to walk on, plenty of trees to mark, and the best entertainment ever…squirrels!! So we arrived in the parking lot, and first things first, mom put my leash and harness on me (in Concord dogs must be leashed – it’s the law). She also got out the training treats she had packed, I overheard her telling my dad that she was going to “work with me on my barking problem,” while we were out on our walk. You see, I get a little too excited sometimes when I see other dogs, and well, I yell at them as they pass by. Sometimes I say bad words to the other dogs, for no reason at all… it’s like I can’t help myself. So once we were all ready, we started on the path around the park.

We left the parking lot and looped around all of the surrounding fields. There are always lots of my squirrel buddies on the shady paths in that part of the park. Mom forgot to grab a free Mutt Mitt from the dispenser near the parking lot, so I politely held it until she was able to bag up near the human bathrooms. There were no other dogs to yell at for the first part of the walk, so Mom called my name every so often and praised me with a treat, and a “good boy!”  every 50 yards or so. This helps Mom to get my attention when I start to see red around other dogs. She learned this trick from Maggie, one of the doctor’s assistants at Encina who knows a lot about training dogs (fun fact: she volunteers her behavioral skills at the shelter where my mom got me).

We stopped and paused at the duck pond so that I could say hi to some of the locals. I managed not to bark at them, but they were a little snobby and tended to waddle away with a brusque “quack” when I leaned in for a sniff. It was a very peaceful place, and there were a lot of humans relaxing on the benches near by. We were at the park for the business of blowing off steam though and had to keep our heart rates up, so we didn’t pause for too long.

After the duck ponds was the off-roading excursion that leads to what I call “The Big Hill.” I have heard my humans refer to it as “Memorial Hill.” Whatever it’s called, it sure is steep for someone of my stature. After a quiet walk surrounded by trees the path forks, and of course Mom didn’t want to go the easy way (neither did I). I usually struggle to walk next to my person like I’m supposed to, but it isn’t hard to slow the pace on the steep gravelly part of the climb.We walked by several dogs and Mom said my name and had me sit for a treat while they passed, which definitely distracted me from barking.

Once you reach the top it is heaven! I love to survey my “kingdom”, I can almost see all the way to my grandparents’ house in Benicia, and I can definitely see my dad’s house in Concord. The wind carries such great smells up there… fresh air, wild animals, and so much more. I want to run and play in the dry grasses, but Mom held me back today because she didn’t want me to get a foxtail stuck in my nose, eyes, or paws (see the bad stuff above in the second picture from the left). She also tried to keep my nose out of the numerous animal holes, but the rat terrier in me found them hard to resist. We took a moment of silence for the veterans of the Vietnam war (Mom said that happened even before she was born, so it must have happened a really long time ago), and started our descent.

Can you see the smile on my face?

The way down is a little slippery for humans, I definitely try to stay out of harm’s way in case my mom falls on the way down (she seems a bit klutzy to me). The best part about going downhill is that the dog park is the next and last stop on the walk. I still have some more training to do before I feel okay around other dogs, but we always stop in the entrance for a drink at the doggy drinking fountain. There are separate parks for big dogs (over 30 pounds) and little dogs (under 30 pounds), to help make sure everyone stays safe. I held in my barks even without treats, and got lots of praise on the way out. One woman even complimented Mom on how good I was, which made her laugh.

All in all, it was a great way to spend an hour of our morning together. I tried to ask for another meal when we got home, but even my cutest face didn’t work (can’t blame a guy for trying). So now that I am done blogging, I think I will take my afternoon nap in the office while Mom gets some work done. See you on our next adventure!

See you on the flip-side, it's nap time!

Comments

  1. This Nicholas is quite talented!! Great pictures 🙂

  2. I try to select the most dominant dog in the litter repetitions or more to learn a new command to learning theory and operant conditioning

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