I find it cumbersome sometimes to carry everything I need on walks. I have invested in some athletic shorts that have pockets. The following things I bring with me every time I leave for the park or a walk with the dog:
- E Z Harness
- Treat Bag
- Yummy Treats
- Pepper Spray
- Poop Bags
- Dog of course!
Now let’s start with the thing that pops into my mind first when reading the list. Pepper Spray? You may wonder why I carry it, but you might not if you have been reading my posts. Oreo was attacked. Never thought it would happen, and in such a quiet neighborhood. Dogs can come from anywhere, and I’ve learned to always be ready. In the few months I have carried it I have never had to use it. I do have to admit, right after the attack I was much more drastic…MUCH MORE. I bought an extendable baton, that is electrified. It actually is designed to fit right over your shorts or pants to carry. I was mortified. I purchased it and even paid extra to have it shipped fast. I was desperate. If anything is attacking my baby and I can’t get it off this should do!! Why not just pepper spray?? I read that bigger dogs may not release with just pepper spray. I had to get the best.
Now don’t get me wrong, I would never use it unless a dog was attacking my dog and I couldn’t get it off. That happened to be the situation before, and it probably was on our dog for a good 5 minutes not releasing, and pulling. I thought her skin would be ripped off. I actually remember hitting the dog and looking up to the sky and thinking, “God, I can’t believe this is happening, it’s like a nightmare, help me”. This followed with screaming, my husband kicking the dog, and it refused to release. After that I thought we got lucky she wasn’t killed, next time I will be prepared.
TRUTH IS…I never have fully taken it out of the package. The baton actually scares me, and the fact I would have to use it on another dog scares me. What if it was my dog attacking? But then I think back to that day that changed everything, a fun loving dog changed into a highly fearful anxiety ridden dog. She once enjoyed the company of other dogs…okay she was obsessed with playing with other dogs. Now she freezes when she sees them, and well you know what will happen if she’s reached her threshold. Plus, her injuries could’ve been much much worse. And after the attack she seemed so normal, wagging her tail, licking the owner’s hand. Such a sweetie. I digress.
Another thing I find a MIRACLE is the E Z harness. It doesn’t have to be that brand, but a harness that connects in the front to the leash. Amazing!! Oreo use to pull pull pull. She was a tracker and loved pulling to see other dogs. We tried regular harnesses, training methods, nothing worked…until the E Z harness. I don’t know if anyone else has had success, but we definitely have. After the attack though now we have trouble encouraging her walk sometimes she is scared. Taking her to parks and avoiding crowded areas does help though. I still use the E Z harness because it doesn’t cause pressure on the neck. When a dog is nervous, pressure on the neck just exacerbates the problem. It also allows me to have more control. If she happens to get surprised and out of fear starts to lunge, I have much more control. The trainer actually said eventually I could take it off, but it doesn’t seem to bother her, or me.
I do find carrying so much stuff can be crazy, and sometimes I forget. Well…okay I don’t forget. I get up and it’s early in the morning. I go outside with Oreo and she is sniffing, but suddenly a bathroom break turns into a little walk..then AHH scary person or dog!! No treats? Yes, I can hold her attention, but not as long as I would like, we haven’t had enough experience yet and training. It always seems like when you forget the treats or the poop bag…that’s when you need it…and that’ when your dog decides to go right in someone’s front lawn as they are starring out at you from the window.