Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sheryl the Dog Whisperer

SHERYL MIGHT JUST have another calling in life - dog trainer.

Her sister, Stephanie, went out of town last week. That meant we got to take care of her rambunctious puppy, Loki. He is about four months old, an energetic Husky/pit bull mix. Since we have two other active dogs, Loki finally got to go on long runs twice a day and his feeding habits were moderated.

Is this my ornery puppy?
Sheryl spent a lot of time with Loki. First, he was taught not to snap at the leash when walking. Then he was drilled with basic commands like "sit" and "stay" and "no bite."

Sheryl patiently walked up and down our backyard sidewalk with Loki at her side. At first, he strained and pulled every step of the way. But he eventually learned to moderate his gait and walk with Sheryl, not against her.

It took a few days, but Loki started coming around. By the end of his stay, he was happily draping his dangling frame all over me on the couch and peacefully snuggling.

Angus and Tucker took care of Loki on our long walks, making sure he didn't wander too far away.

Loki went home yesterday. Stephanie can't believe her different dog. He is no longer wildly lunging and dragging her around when on the leash or tearing at her flesh with his sharp puppy teeth.

Loki still has a long way to go. I hope Stephanie takes our advice about walking her dog daily - responsible pet owners don't let their dogs languish. They need to run. Everybody is happier when they do.

Sheryl is now being called the Dog Whisperer. "You worked a miracle with my dog," Stephanie says.

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