Free at Last

As you probably surmised from my post the other day, Hubby and I made it back to the WV place. We hadn’t been there since the weekend after Thanksgiving. One of the reasons for the long absence was the holiday madness (so much to do, so little time in which to do it). Another reason was that we needed to work on training K to come when we call her. The girl is a hunter, so we knew if we didn’t teach her to come when we tell her to that, should she pick up a scent at the WV place, we may never see her again.

Belle and K Relaxing After a Long Walk

Well, we have actually been working with K. And she’s doing much better than originally anticipated. We do have a training aid, however, thanks to K’s foster family. It’s a citronella collar. If the dog doesn’t come when you call it, they get three levels of warning:

  1. A beep
  2. A short spritz of citronella, which dogs apparently find pretty offensive
  3. A LONG squirt of citronella

The idea is just to get their attention. Dogs that listen under normal circumstances may not do as commanded when distracted by such stuff as bunnies, squirrels, deer, turkeys, etc.

Because K was previously trained on an invisible fence, which uses similar tiered warnings (beep, light zap, strong zap), she took to the citronella collar pretty well. She HATED the invisible fence. And even though it’s been a couple of months, she remembers the collar.

She did very well when it came to critter smells, but when she and Belle saw a deer late on Sunday afternoon, they both took off. K was out of collar range in a flash. Belle came back immediately, of course, because Belle never likes to get too far from Mama. K, on the other hand, was gone for about an hour. I was worried, of course, but not as worried as I would have been around the MD place, where it sometimes feels like we are surrounded by superhighways.

So we’ve still got some work to do. I did manage to get some good pics before that little incident, which I have shared below.

Here I imagine K is thinking, "This collar and jacket are so undoglike. I feel like a dork."

Back in December, I explained how K hates getting dressed, i.e., wearing stupid stuff like this Don’t-Shoot-Me jacket and seasonal bandannas. Well, Sunday was cold and rainy, so I decided to get the dogs all suited up before our walk. Not only was she not thrilled about wearing the training collar, she was a bit peeved at the jacket thing. But she got over it pretty quickly.

This girl LOVES to run.

As you can see, Belle doesn’t mind getting dressed. Either does Meg.

Meg moseying along.

This picture of Meg slogging through six inches of slush on Turkey Hollow Road, in the rain and fog, pretty much sums up Sunday’s weather.

Free at last.

It didn’t take K long at all to forget about wearing the jacket. She was thrilled to be able to run.

I’ve said this here before. Seeing my dogs run free like this, with the look of sheer bliss and delight on their faces, is what I picture whenever I see/read about dogs forced to live in a kennel, tied to a tree, etc.

Yay, we can play!

Belle was quite happy to see K off-leash, too.

Look at them fly.

It’s just not possible to play like this when there is a lead attached.

Audience of one.

Meg was quite happy to just watch.

What? We're playing!
What? We're playing.

The two young’uns would stop to catch their breath every now and then.

Back at it.

Those breaks never last very long.

My ears fly, too.

Meg does her share of running, too. She just prefers running without a rambunctious young Britt running alongside of her nipping at her rear-end, or her ears, or her neck…

K looking dapper in her jacket.

I doubt K will ever admit it, but she looks quite handsome in her little jacket, which, by the way, helps immensely when trying to spot a dog in the woods.

Look what Belle found. This is actually bone #2. Bone #1 was much smaller and she polished that one off early in the day.

Belle is pretty good at finding treasure in the woods. Meg is, too, but Meg usually consumes her treasures before letting us see what she has discovered.

All in all, it was a good weekend. I look forward to returning soon. There’s nothing quite as relaxing (yes, exercise can be relaxing) as tromping through the woods with your dogs.

4 Replies to “Free at Last”

  1. I love the picture of K running like the wind. You are right….they can’t play like this on a leash. Next time you’ll be armed and ready with the citronella collar and she won’t do it again. I love seeing her so happy, and Belle and Meg look happy too.

    1. All of the dogs love the WV place. That is and always has been, without a doubt, Meg’s favorite place in the whole world. Our C loved it, too, which is why her cremains are scattered there. (-:

  2. I totally understand about your WV place – I had the same sort of “haven” in Jackson NH – Bentley loved it there…we spent hours in the woods and fields and he could run and run; after the house was sold I tried to get there as often as I could – but it wasn’t the same. Enjoy your place with the girls!!

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