The other day I went kayaking with my husband, some friends, and my puppy, Maggie. Last summer, Maggie’s first summer, she learned to nestle with me in the dell of my kayak. She wasn’t always happy to sit still but she got better as the summer progressed and seemed to enjoy being out on the water with us. This summer I was anxious to see what she retained from her kayak experience.
As I had done the previous summer, I attached Maggie’s leash to her harness and tied it around my waist. She would have none of it. I worked for a while encouraging her to sit as she had done last summer (when she was much smaller I might add). As she kept fighting what I wanted her to do, I got more forceful and controlling until I was screaming at her and trying to push her down into a sit.
She squirmed and barked and refused to sit. She tried to get up on the bow of the boat, and I pulled her back afraid of her falling off. Forget paddling! Everyone was now way ahead of me, which I was actually grateful for, as I didn’t want them to hear our power struggle. Her yelps and barks—my growling and yelling. I have often said, even when our last dog was a puppy, that no child ever pushed my buttons as much as my dogs!