So, I’d kind of been under this delusion that my dog is super-smart – what with his being half Border Collie/half Lab, which is by all accounts top of the doggie pyramid. And I sort of assumed, stupidly, that he instinctively knew that roads were if not dangerous, at least off-limits.
But, a few days ago we went to the off-lead park at the end of the lake and he made me realise that quite frankly, I was being a doofus! Firstly, he loves to bound into the playground zone – you know the bit designated playground with the orangey tanbark. Once there, he singles out the smallest most defenceless kid and jumps on them. It’s as if in his doggy brain, he thinks, this kid's about my size, maybe he’d like a bit of rough-and-tumble play. Now, if I’m unlucky the kid screams. If, I’m super unlucky the kid screams AND runs! This, of course, signals to Pip GAME ON! Thankfully, the kid’s parents have been pretty cool, so far, and usually try and introduce their child to Pip. Then, there’s the other kind of kid who has no fear whatsoever of dogs and given half a chance would try and stick his head in Pip’s mouth.
This had been the extent of Pip’s misdemeanours and I’d written it off as one of those things puppy’s do. But this day was different. First he charged off into the perimeter of bushes that lines the park. Unfortunately, past the bushes is the road. So, I lunged into the bushes frantically calling him, trying my most assertive ‘COME!’ D1 yelled out that he’d emerged and had come over to her.
So all was well – he hadn’t actually gone on the road – perhaps this was an aberration.
But then a guy with a prosthetic leg limped through the park. Pip took a shine to him and frolicked after him. I called him and he came back briefly before following the guy at full speed and disappearing into the bushes again.
I sprinted after him just in time to see a flash of black and white run across the road and into the front garden of the guy on the other side. Pip then proceeded to try out all the guy’s cushy chairs that were on his front verandah and generally bound around as if he were at his own personal Mardi Gras!
When I finally caught him, it was only that he’d seen a cat and been a bit frightened (more on Pip the wimp later) that enabled me to scoop him up into my arms and carry him back to the park. Once in the park, he was put back on the lead and not let off again.
Looks like off-lead park days may be coming to an end :(