Recall training was going well. I have to admit I was a little smug about it, proud of well we were doing. The day my smugness came down a notch or 2 was a glorious one. The sun was high in the blue cloudless sky, the air warm and the world was friendly (has anyone else noticed that the English are much happier when the sun shines?). On days like these the tow path is full of anglers hoping to catch something for the BBQ later. Boats are moored along the green riverbank, families are sat eating lunch on them with their children squealing in delight at the swans swimming on the river.
On that fateful day my fabulous friend was walking the puppy for me. She owns a golden retriever that is so well behaved and gentle that he was the obvious choice as role model for my puppy.
They had been walking along the tow path, enjoying the warm sunshine. A few men were along the river catching fish, their bait beside them, dreaming of their lovely BBQ later. The smell of the bait must have been too much for the puppy. She sped at top speed over to the startled man and before you could say ‘other people’s food tastes better’ she had eaten it all! Just like that! My friend raced after her, calling her back but the realisation that there was food about propelled the puppy forward. All the recent fabulous work we had done on recall forgotten as she hunted down another tasty meal.
Detecting the smell of fresh cheese sticks, the puppy continued on with her quest to eat! She launched herself onto a boat moored beside the riverbank. On it sat a granddad and his grandchild. Seeing the brown blur of a puppy jump onto his boat, he lifted his grandchild into his arms.... clearly he could not tell if it was a lion or a dog.... that meant that the cheese sticks he had bought were unattended! My exhausted friend was running and calling and the puppy was using her selective hearing! She gobbled the cheese sticks, the hungry little child began to cry and my embarrassed friend and shamed retriever dragged puppy off the boat. Then they proceeded to walk the ‘Walk of Shame’ back to my house, only the puppy had no shame only a rather full belly. Back to the recall training I think!