Recent development

I apologise for my blog being updated rather sporadically recently. Nothing bad has happened to me or my family and we are all doing really great.

The reason behind why I’m spending much less time with my MacBook right now is because I’m concentrating on my girl Bella’s training. Over the summer, Hubbie and I were discussing how wonderful it would be if she could go off-lead completely in the park. If she will not be granted freedom because of the lack of effort on our part, it will be totally unfair on her, we agreed.

From the beginning of the August, Bella and I have been frequenting parks, mainly Regents Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, with a pouch stuffed with her favourite, cooked chicken. During the first two weeks of the training, I attached a 10m long lead on her and practiced recalling.

I was delighted to find that Bella really loved her new found freedom on the long lead but also a new routine of being rewarded with a tasty treat every time she returned to my side.

‘It’s an win-win situation for me!’

At the beginning, we stuck to a quiet part of the park, away from people and other dogs…

The area was so tranquil and peaceful, it could almost fool me into thinking that we were in the countryside if I chose to ignore the roofs of the slow moving traffic on Bayswater Road as they were almost obscured by the vegetation.

Then during the last bank holiday weekend,  I became confident enough to bite the bullet. While Hubbie looked on, I unhooked Bella from a lead…

She didn’t run away from us! Thank god.

We brought her favourite ball and played with her. For the first time, we chased after the ball without worrying about being tangled up with her lead and trampling on her…

She is a very skilled defender, I must say.

Her expression tells everything, doesn’t it?

I’m happy!’

Now, we head to the parks almost everyday as long as it is not raining. I am just addicted to see her being so happy, running and rolling on the grass and running back to me with a huge grin on her furry face. We have also updated our training using a small frisbee so she can practice fetching…

She impresses me with the way she anticipates where the disc will land. And 9 out of 10 times, she brings the frisbee back to me.

Another thing I have noticed is a change in her attitude towards me. I used to be very frustrated when she behaved like she was more into other people and objects. She got distracted easily and sometimes, she even ignored me. ‘Why does she behave like that? Doesn’t she know that I love her?’ I used to complain to Hubbie.

After a month of intense training in the park did change her (and me). She has become much more responsive, affectionate and less disruptive. And I definitely feel a bond of trust has been forged between us and it is strengthening every time we work together.

Isn’t freedom wonderful?

I am so proud of us, my furry buddy!

By the way, we saw a helicopter landing on a field nearby this morning when we were playing in Regents Park…​

 

The helicopter was in khaki green, therefore, it must have been a military one? I was hoping it would land near us but it didn’t happen. I guessed it was because there were too many football goal posts in the area…

P.S. I shall resume writing about my mum & daughter road trip soon as my memories of it are becoming less and less vivid! Oh no!!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

5 thoughts on “Recent development

  1. Fantastic to see her confidently off the lead. Cheers to you all. All the doggie people I know say how dogs act differently when they are let off the lead and that they are much better behaved when meeting other dogs. It is just a pity when public parks have an ‘all dogs on lead’ policy these days, but I guess some owners can’t be trusted!

    • Yes! I finally plucked up the courage and did it!! About training her for recalling and being off-the-lead, I was pondering about it for a long time. Am I gonna put her through unnecessary risks, such as being attacked from other dogs or dog-napping, etc. Then, I saw a small Maltese running free in Kensington Gardens one day and thought it would be cruel to Bella if I robbed Bella of her freedom because of my insecurity.
      It is so true that dogs behave better with other dogs when they are off the lead. Maybe they are less frustrated by the lead? Bella’s behaviours in general has transformed ever since we have started the training. And I am so happy with it. About the parks in and around London, I’ve found Regents Park is the best because their cricket ground near London Zoo is normally free from tourists. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are ok but they are a bit too busy most of the time. The thing I like about those parks is the sense of safety. I hardly see any unfriendly people or aggressive dogs there. Even though I have Victoria Park and London Field nearer to my home, I don’t like to visit there with my precious Bella😥

      • I can appreciate your nervousness with a tiny little beauty like Bella out amongst some of the beefy dogs you see in public parks. It isn’t so much the big dogs themselves as their owners if they don’t have them properly controlled. My sister has a very big labradoodle who wouldn’t hurt a fly, but he got attacked by a ‘fighting’ dog in a car park on the motorway of all places. The other dog attacked him unprovoked and tore open my sister’s dog’s underbelly. He had to be taken to the vet’s to be stitched up. If people can’t control their dog the dog should be muzzled. I can understand avoiding Victoria Park – too risky.

      • Oh no! Poor thing!!! I will be definitely careful around motorway service areas. Some people own dogs for totally wrong reasons, don’t they? Some want their dogs to be a weapon, some use them like a body guard, etc. Living in East London, I see a plenty of them around me. They also never clean after their dogs either!😡
        Another concern is Bella herself. She is far too friendly and fearless. She approaches anyone and any dog with her tail wagging like crazy.😭

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