Happy Thursday, everyone!
Last week we introduced Gilly’s new book review segment, “Barks and Books.” This week we’re going to be taking a break from this segment, but wanted to let you know that the next book, Saturn by Ben Bova, is in progress as a daily feature for Gilligan’s storytime. We hope to have it completed within the next couple of weeks and look forward to bringing you that review.
Well, it has been rather rainy the past several days in New England. On Tuesday the rain was heavy, and non-stop all day. Weens just hates getting wet, so on the rare occasion where there is uninterrupted down-pouring for long periods of time, it can mean no walk for that day and even (unfortunately) “holding it” since he refuses to “visit the outhouse” in the rain. By the end of the day, he had to give in and just go in the rain. Thanks, Mother Nature…
Yesterday, the precipitation continued, but ever-so-lightly. Luckily, in these situations Gilly does have a nifty raincoat to help out, so rather than risk missing two days in a row and build a bunch of pent-up energy that needs to be spent in an Epic Walk, Gilligan suited up and headed out.
First, Gilly gets his harness on.
Then the raincoat, with the leash clipped onto the harness through a hole in the top.
And he’s ready to brave a walk out in a fairly gloomy day.
Now, Gilligan’s typical daily walk is a 30-minute stroll around a lovely riverside park near the house. When he goes for an extended walk for extra training and/or to release some pent-up energy if he has missed a walk or two, he’ll go the same route, and then take a detour through the park and down a lovely, reedy boardwalk (explored in our recent Epic Walk post). Today, it’s a short walk, with Papa prepared to turn around if the rain picks up so that they don’t get drenched.
On the way to the park, Gilligan encounters another small dog. As it turns out, she is a half-dachshund/ half-golden retriever mix! This is a special treat for Gilly because he has a female golden retriever friend in the area, and suffice it to say, he is quite interested to see what their pups might look like (if they were not both fixed, that is)!
She’s just the prettiest thing! Although, in classic Gilligan fashion he cannot stop barking at her while the humans chat, and his habits at introducing himself to other dogs are the reason for the word “Bites” in this post’s title… yeah, it is a work in progress. The golden/ doxie’s owner recommends a spray bottle for negative feedback to reduce this, saying she used to have the same habit and it worked for eliminating her barking. The spray bottle is something Gilligan gets for being too loud at home, and it is effective, so this tool might make its way out onto a future walk.
Next up, Gilly makes it to the park. Papa’s plan was to practice some “roundhouses,” their new “Stay” traning technique. The perfect spot to do this is the basketball court, due to its convenient leash-length circle markings, but on this day, the court turns out to be too slick and wet.
Preparation is often the key to success, and once again according to Murphy’s Law, the rain picks up a little bit, and Papa and Gilly execute their back-up plan to double back on their walk just in time to avoid getting too drenched.
While they were out, Papa and Gilly were able to practice a couple of “roundhouse-” style exercises, but less than they wanted to. Fortunately, Papa has a special in-house exercise to practice Gilligan’s Stay technique… you’ll have to stay tuned to find out what it is!
The reward for these complex exercises is a high value bacon treat, the recipe for which Papa has recently modified to make it healthier. Gilly’s clearly interested in how to make these, or at least earn them, for himself:
That’s all the time we have for today, since we have to prepare for a family visit to the vet this evening!
In our upcoming posts, we’ll tell you how that vet visit went, in addition to sharing our special indoor “Stay” technique and new homemade bacon treats recipe.
Stay warm, wigglers!
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