A Long Walk


Last Sunday, Rain got a significant challenge in the form of a 3 mile walk, along a city street with a fair amount of traffic. How was she progressing on her Reactive Rover work? There was only one way to find out.

She was neither silent nor perfectly behaved. But she definitely passed the test!

Rain was pretty keyed up when we left the house—and as soon as we cleared the front door, she spotted a family walking their German shepherd down the street. She had a barking eruption then, but I got her behind a barrier to eliminate her view and regain her focus.

We stopped at our local park in hopes of working out some of that energy by playing ball. We got a few throws in before continuing on our way.

Rain found plenty of things to sniff and wear her brain out along our way. When we were nearly to our destination, she suddenly ran under a low bush, pulling her leash. A fuzzy kitty ran out the other side, and Rain tried to run after her. Kitty rustling like a pro!

Twice during our walk we encountered squirrels. The second time we were inside a city park full of tall Douglas firs, and the squirrel decided to run up the trunk of the nearest tree and then hang out about 15 feet up, taunting Rain. Like they do.

Our original destination was a coffee shop. When we arrived, the third person in our party went inside for a cuppa while we waited outside (as seen above). A couple came out of the breakfast joint nearby and joined Rain’s fan club, admiring her brain and beauty. (They got to feed her cookies!)

This wasn’t the longest walk Rain has been on, but it is the longest she has been on with such serious distractions. There were plenty of opportunities for her to react to the noise of a normal Portland city street, but for the most part she reacted to the most challenging things she encountered—cats and squirrels.

Best of all, she slept when we got home! It wasn’t for long, but clearly the longer walk tired her a little bit. That hour of peace was worth it.


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