Worst-timed walk ever?

So after a rainy morning, the sun came out this afternoon. “Great!” I thought. “With the warmer temperatures, we’ll have a really nice walk.” I had some stuff I needed to do first, including watching a live webcast.

When I finally got us organized, I opened the front door…and saw forbidding black clouds on the horizon. Not wanting to disappoint the by now super excited Spencer and knowing that if I put the walk off it was unlikely to happen, I decided to just go for it.

We had barely reached the park when a downpour started. I led Spencer under a tree, where I intended to shelter him by leaning over him and letting my rain jacket take the brunt of the rain. (Unfortunately, the late spring means that the trees don’t have any leaves yet.) Spencer had other ideas and dove under the neighboring bush. He turned around to inspect his new den, thus tangling the leash around his legs and making the situation difficult for both of us.

When it stopped raining, it took a while to persuade him to come out. I suspect that this evoked all kinds of bad memories of living in the streets, we’ve already noted his clear dislike of rain and being cold.

Right before we were ready to leave the park, another downpour started. Looking at the sky, I realized that this one would be more sustained. Luckily we were right near a pine tree, which provided good shelter. We sat down under it, and I kept Spencer distracted by feeding him kibble. This was important because we were sitting between the park path and the sidewalk…and school had just let out, so quite a few young adolescents were walking by.

He did really great, staying focused on me and not giving more than a passing glance to most of the people walking by, except at the very end, when a sustained stream of rowdy youngsters finally proved to be too much stress, and he barked to chase them away. But he quickly settled down again, and shortly therefore the sun came out, and we headed home.

Even though there were quite a few Scary People on the sidewalks, Spencer did great on the way home, and stayed calmly by my side most of the time.


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