Monday, 17 February 2014


Pingy is the name we give to the extending lead that we used when walking the dog when we don't want to let him run free but we want him to be able to sniff and explore things nearby. We use it when we are in parks, or out on long walks where we might come across other people or other dogs, or where we might go close to a road. It's a solid, professional standard lead, that extends to about 10 metres, but can quickly be pulled back in when we need to.

It's not that the dog doesn't understand 'come', and most of the time he is very obedient and does just that when called. It's just that he is a little wilful and if he is doing something interesting he will hesitate before returning. He also has a very high prey drive, and if he sees something fluffy or fast, such as deer or a sheep, a red mist descends and he becomes deaf and blind to anything else other than the chase. He will take off instantly and chase whatever it is he has seen until he has calmed down or lost the scent or until he remembers himself. This can take anything from two to thirty minutes.

Today we went for our evening walk and I noticed that our neighbours sheep were in our field, so we ventured out with pingy. For a while he didn't notice the sheep, but then he got a scent and got exited. He still didn't see them, but then as we came over the hill they were there. I thought I had the lead locked short but it must have slipped, so he took off at full pelt. Realising that when he got to the end of the lead I was either going to dislocate my shoulder or he was going to strangle himself I had no option but to let go.

I watched the stinky dog charge 100 or so metres with the extending lead flying behind him. I watched the sheep run through the hole in the fence from whence they came, and I watched him jump over the fence trailing pingy behind him, getting it caught in the fence for a while and then pulling it free. Dog and sheep disappeared.

I ran over quickly calling him all the time, worried that he had gone down into the woods with the lead trailing behind him; imaging him hanging from a branch or tree, with the sheep gloating in glee at the bottom.

I got round the corner and saw him wandering back, lead still there, looking annoyed that he had been hampered in his sheep chasing activities. Panic over!

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