Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mom was scared to death!

I had the most excellent adventure today! And mom had one of the worst days of her life. Dad and mom wanted to go somewhere not too muddy for a walk, so they picked the roads through the campground where we camped the summer before last. Most of the campground is closed for the winter, so the area is basically deserted and there is very little chance of traffic (except for the park rangers). I have been such a good boy about following trails and dragging my leash that mom had confidence in me even at this new location. She now regrets that decision - guess my good off-leash skills are not so good. We took off on our walk and it soon lead to an overpass of a pretty busy road and then (this is the part that mom and dad didn't remember about this area) the road parallels the campground road for quite awhile - it's a steep and brushy bank up to the road which only has a guard rail - no fence. Well as we were approaching the road, I could hear the cars and I got excited and ran ahead a little but mom called me and I came back to her. Then we went under the overpass and on the other side I got a really good view of the cars up there whizzing by and instinct overrode any sense at all and I took off!!!! I ran up the campground road and whipped around and ran back and I was running 50 miles per hour because I was going as fast as the cars I saw going by! WooHoo - it was so much fun and so exhilarating! I thought I might have heard mom and dad both yelling, "RICKY!! COME!!!" but I just couldn't stop. Mom is so thankful that I didn't think to run up the steep bank and that the park ranger didn't pick that moment to drive down the campground road. For mom this went on for what seemed like an eternity. She ran to try to catch up with me. Finally I could hear her and I stopped and sheepishly went up to her. She knew she shouldn't get mad at me for finally coming to her, but her last nerve was completely shot and she was very stern with me and grabbed me by my ruff and looked me straight in the eyes and said "no". Mom rarely just says "no" to me. I knew I was in big trouble, but I was so far over my excitement threshold that even though we tried to continue our walk in a new direction, I couldn't stop whining and pulling on the leash and choking myself. Mom ended up carrying me most of the way back to the car.

Mom is so mad at herself for letting me drag the leash in a new location and mad that after nearly three years of so much training and playing and working together, I would still blow her off so completely and almost get killed in the process ( well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but she is prone to that sort of thing). And she is mad to have been so stupid (so please - nobody lecture her about how stupid she was). She so wants me to be the kind of dog that will follow their mom any where, any time. We have that at certain places (our favorite park, for instance) but we just don't have that ability every where yet. I have a feeling that I am in for a major recall boot camp! As a matter of fact, a much more reliable recall is mom's number one priority now. From reading on the internet, she has some training ideas, but if anyone has some suggestions, let us know. But from today mom also realizes that my herding instincts may always override any training we do. We all learned a huge lesson today (and fortunately no one got hurt - mom still gets shaky when she thinks about it) - mom learned I can't be trusted as much as she thought I could be, and I learned that I can run as fast as a car!!!!

Gotta zoom (50 mph, at least!),



Sara said...

Oh Ricky, you gave your mom quite a scare. I'm glad you are OK.

My first sheltie would chase after joggers like that if I had him off leash. He didn't hear me until he was halfway down the road. It was scary.

Hope your mom's heart rate has returned to normal.

Diana said...

O'boy that must have been scary. I know I couldnt call Miley back either. Cars zooming by are the one thing that I wont be able to call her off, no matter how much we practice. Its hard for me to watch some peoples videos if they are practicing or running around with their dogs and cars a zooming by. It makes me feel sick to my stomach with worry. Im so glad everything is ok and Ricky is ok. Lesson learned, dont beat yourself up. Diana

Nicki said...

Glad everyone is safe. It's easy to be hard on yourself but at least it turned out ok. I'm always super paranoid about letting my dogs off leash places. No matter how much training they have had.

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Welkhome to MY world...

PeeEssWoo: BUT RICKY RICKY RICKY, please don't do that again - what would your mom do without woo????

Kathy said...

Whew, my heart almost stopped just reading about that little adventure. Boy, I sure sympathize with your mom....Lizzie is a dog that has let me know exactly how I bet your mom was feeling. No one should be lecturing your mom, sometimes you just make the best decision you can. Have you guys done the Really Reliable Recall program, there is a very good video and Cricket is enrolled in the RRR class here next month, it takes awhile but you learn an emergency word and you do so much work on it and you only use it in such situations and if you keep it up for a LONG time eventually your dog should just react when they hear the word-no thinking involved just reacting by coming back. The lady who does the video has sight hounds that are really hard to get recalls on and people told her she would never be able to have recalls on them. Anyway, I have done it with Lizzie, and I need to keep with it, and it has helped a lot but after your post think everyone is going to start work again.

Dawn said...

Wow. I was afraid to read the story and my eyes were tearing up! RICKY! Never never never never do that to your folks again! Oh my, I am still not breathing right! Katie is a car chaser too and I am always afraid when we're doing frisbee out in the yard that she'll take off after a car. Even the one time I took her to an off leash park I was freaking out the whole time. And there we were all fenced in! LOL!

Well Ricky, I think you've probably blown your off leash privileges for a long time. I like the lady's idea above about the really reliable recall. I think I'll go investigate that as well.

I'm SO glad you're OK. I hope your Mom gets over the awful feeling. But it is going to take awhile, that's for sure!

Fizz said...

PHEW!! So glad you're ok Ricky. You must remember that when you go back to your Mom when she calls, you get really yummy treats! And treats are SO much better than cars. I know how hard it is though, I ranned off once and I could sort of hear Mum calling me, but I was having too much fun to take any notice! But just keep that image of nice juicy sausages that your Mom has in your mind, and you'll be fine!

~Fizz x

Morgan in Pittsburgh said...

Oh geez, Ricky. mom knows that feeling. It's us herding dogs. One thing mom has learned is never chase after your Sheltie, we just think you are herding along with us. If I take off she turns and runs the other way. I think she has a better plan and turn around too. She's usually yelling something about lets go get treats too.
your pal, Morgan

Lian said...

Oh Ricky! You gave all of us a scared!!!

Irish Hill Shelties said...

Oh Boy Ricky we are never allowed off leash no matter how much we want to our 2 moms say "NO WAY" They said we will just run off chasing whatever we see and not hear the "stop Come Back" command. I guess they are right because we do like to chase cars, cats, dogs whatever is there in our vision line. Tell you Mom to try and be calm I am sure she had dreams about what happen. Thank goodness you are okay. Merry Christmas your pals Sam, Molly, Mia, Noah