|Image from Hyperbole & a Half|
Had a bit of a scare yesterday with the pup. I must not have fastened her leash properly before we left the house and after she leapt over a snowbank & shook the snow off her coat, off it popped! Realizing she was free, my sweet pup tore ass down the street in a burst of joy. She looked very much like the dog in the above comic (who is also a bluetick coonhound).
Now, I haven't had a dog in awhile, but I know enough not to chase after a dog on the loose, unless they're in imminent harm. Since we were still on our own street, which she knows like the back of her paw, I just walked a little closer & started calling her (after exclaiming "shit, shit, shit" to myself). She raced a bit down the street, looked back to see if I was chasing her, ran a bit further, looked back again, then circled around to the other side of the street. I took a few more steps towards her, kept calling her, and crouched down to pat my knees in encouragement. And darned if she didn't trot right back to me!
Someone got a heap of praise, a nice long walk (after I made sure the leash was well & truly secured), and a treat when we got home. It was a bit scary, but it also made me realize how well she responds to me, even in a stressful situation like that. I've been leery of taking her to an off-lead dog park, since she's a hound & might be tempted to take off after a scent. But after the episode yesterday, I think it might be worth giving it a try. :)