THE BLOG
05/13/2013 12:07 pm ET Updated Jul 13, 2013

I'm Putting My Foot Down!

There are not too many things in life I hate. I dislike a few things (traffic jams, obnoxious people, sour milk after it's been poured into my coffee), but not much I hate. I guess I could say I hate not getting enough sleep, or growing older, but those are things that many people have in common, and it's always easy to vent to a co-worker or friend, and feel better afterwards.

But, I can say without hesitation, I HATE walking my dog. I really do. It's not the going outside in all types of weather, or even the waking up early, coming home at lunchtime, or even the after dinner walk. I totally get the health benefits of doing that. I know that if it wasn't for my little pooch, I would always come up with an excuse for not going outside to exercise. The weather, the time, my schedule would all play a nice role in keeping me from exercising. Therefore it's not the walk that I despise...it's the walk WITH my dog that sends a cold shiver down my spine.

Hard to believe we've had him for almost a year now, but it's true. We picked him up from the breeder on May 28th last year. A little 8 week old munchkin just waiting to be taken home to a nice, loving happy family. Now one would think that after having had a dog for almost 1 year, and, said dog not having had any prior experiences with any other owners, one would think that life would be easy for everyone...WRONG!!! Life is easy for hubby. Life is easy for 15 year old son...life is a nightmare for me!!!! After almost a year of living in our home, our dog still does not respect me. True, the biting has stopped, but the nano-second that hubby leaves the house, doggy goes on a rampage. I have to lock up all the sofa cushions in the guest bedroom, have to hide the dish cloths on top of the stove, have to put all waste-paper baskets on top of tables, have to put our shoes on top of the dryer. When doggy sees he has nothing but his toys to play with, he tries to take the carpet out of the hallway and drag it up the stairs. Once I roll up this carpet and put it in the closet, doggy starts eating our plants!!! It NEVER ends!!! He only does this when I'm alone with him!!!

Now this is why I hate my walks. When I go for a walk accompanied by hubby or son, doggy just walks between us like an angel. But, when I'm alone, he goes for the leash in the nanosecond it takes for me to step out of the garage!! I've tried everything. I've tried staying in the garage with him for 40 minutes waiting for him to go into a calm, submissive state. That did not last long! I've tried being very assertive when the leash is in his mouth, that is, snapping the leash, making him stop walking, being firm. That never worked. I've also tried ignoring him when he's biting or yanking the leash, but that works even less. I longer I ignore him, the more excited he becomes by having the leash in his mouth and he works himself into a frenzy!! I've tried the harness too. That worked great up until doggy turned 45 lbs. Then it was harder than ever to control the pulling and biting.

One day I was walking him when hubby called me. As usual, I was fighting back the tears as doggy was trying his best to dislocate my arm from its shoulder. Then, hubby suggested I step on the leash. So I did. As doggy was whipping himself up into a leash biting frenzy, I stepped on the leash and brought my foot down as close as possible to the start of the leash nearest his neck. Doggy did not like that one bit. I never heard him growl like that. Actually, I was sure he would bite my foot off, but he never did! I stayed like that for a few minutes and started the walk again. He began with the leash again, so I stepped on it again. This time I stayed there for 5 minutes. Cars driving by pointed and stared, but I didn't care. My doggy was actually lying down and was going into a calm state.

So now, this is my life. Sometimes I only have to step on the leash once, sometimes I have to step on it more than 7 times, I'm just hoping that one day, doggy will make the correlation between leash biting, and not being able to move.

Only time,( and a steel belted leash) will tell.

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