This morning was one of those we-have-come-so-far walks.
Whenever we have to go around a blind corner, I call Spencer to my side, prepare a treat just in case, try to peer through fences and bushes and prepare to react if we are surprised by someone. This morning, I thought I had a good view around the first corner we encountered, but when we turned it, there was a young boy, too short to be seen through the break in the fence and bushes. I calmly asked Spencer to do a u-turn and cross, which he executed without hesitation while the boy called a friendly “Bonjour!” after us.
A bit little while I was throwing out the “doggy bag”, I noticed a man come up the siddewalk behind us. We were right next to a narrow pedestrian passageway that has lots of interesting smells, so we headed up it. When Spencer stopped to sniff something, I realized to my chagrin that the man was coming up the passage behind us, and catching up. In my happiest voice, I asked Spencer to move on and turned it into a game to jog ahead fast. At the end of the passage, I asked him to move to the left, sit and let the guy pass. Spencer didn’t even blink.
At the top of that street, there was another narrow pedestrian passage Spencer wanted to take. As we headed for the entrance, I saw another guy coming out carrying a baguette. I again asked for a u-turn and for us to park on the side as the man went by. Spencer calmly watched him and then we moved on.
As we reached the end of the passageway, a woman and a small girlie dog (she had a pink leash), wanted to enter, but we clearly made the woman nervous. I asked her to move to the right and then asked Spencer to go out calmly and turn left, which he did. I then looked back at the woman and wished them a good walk as they headed into the passage, with the doggie clearly wishing she could stop and say hi.
The rest of the walk went like this until we turned the final corner for home. Spencer remains a bit sensitive in this zone, and a guy was crossing the street diagonally down to the corner across from us on the left. I asked Spencer to let the guy pass, so he didn’t get stressed, but then the guy turned around and crossed back to our side, apparently having forgotten something in his car. Again, I reassured Spencer. The guy turned around again, and I felt Spencer tense up as the guy passed nearest to us on his diagonal line. I did the Happy Voice as much as I could and called Spencer’s attention to a piece of chicken. It worked. He turned, ate the chicken, then turned back towards the man, who was now far enough away to No Longer Be Considered a Threat.
To be fair, this is one of several big victories for Spencer this week. But that, as Hammy Hamster always said, is another