Head Over Heels

Yesterday was a fairly normal day around here...some work& studio tidying was accomplished, grocery shopping & errand run achieved, and the three of us went out for our daily walk - me, Phylo, & Mbird. I chose to take the stroller - I switch back and forth between it and the Ergo carrier. They both have their pros and cons but I figured since I was going to a spinning class that night I could skip carrying 20+ pounds for our outing.

Isn't my pup Phylo just the face of innocence? You'd never know it from the photos (unless maybe you have a German Shorthair Pointer) that he has only two modes - off & on. "Off" is what you see here - lazy hanging out hound dog. "On" is what we see - whenever there's a door to go through (or bust through), a walk to be had (and whined about until he gets one), a bird or squirrel to be hunted. "On" is much easier for Phylo to slip into than "off", and I swear we've been trying since we got him at 8 months (he's now 3.5) to find some middle ground. It shows up only in glimpses - a quick glance back at me and a little sniff to my hand while I'm being dragged around the park out on a walk, when he's exhausted from a run or hike and will lay calmly in the car on the way home, or when we've done something so repeatedly that he knows he just has to listen, or else!

Yesterday we happened to be out for our walk at the same time as our neighbor and his dog, Franklin. Phylo and Franklin do great together and we all walked to the far end of the park then stopped to chat before heading in different directions. We were going on about the housing market, jobs, etc., when a lady and her two little yorkies approached from across the street. Phylo started his "but they're so little, how could they be dogs?, they must be squirrels!!" whine and when they got within 10 feet of us he started to pull - hard. Phylo is a strong dog, but I'm strong too - as my friend says, 'freakishly strong', and I always get him under control. But he had his feet in the grass and really dug in. I felt my body lean into Miranda's stroller and realized it was going to go over (!) so I let myself get pulled. Before I knew it I was yanked around the stroller, then off my feet with first my hip hitting the ground, then my head smacking the sidewalk (yep, ouch). You'll be happy to know I never let go of the leash... But my glasses were a few feet away, and Miranda was looking down at me from her stroller in surprise - 'what's my mommy doing on the ground?'. Sadly, (and this is part of what constitutes "on") Phylo looked at me like he didn't know what had happened and totally didn't get that he just put me on my ass in the middle of the park. Sigh...my neighbor then suggested it might be time to get a spiky collar for my dog, or some other measure of deterrence for such inappropriate actions.

I think it's time we do an obedience class together. Either that or someone get Cesar Millan on the line, please!

It's hard to believe this is the same dog.

I did make it to the spinning class even though my bum was sore. It's actually more sore now, but that's just from the bike saddle :o)

If anyone has any tips to offer this challenged dog walker I'm all ears...

Now off to drink more coffee - our other issue of course is lack of sleep at night, but I won't burden you with more than one problem at a time!!

Have a lovely one,

ps - I just thought this was fun to include, if a little gross. One thing Phylo never slacks on is cleaning up our dishes, and for that we're grateful ;o)