I used to say that if Dolly could talk she would weave quite a tale of abuse and neglect by my hands just judging from some of the facial expressions she’d give me in response to commands or corrections.
I’m beginning to feel I really am abusing Yara. The poor girl is just so sensitive, as I’ve mentioned many times. She reacts to just the slightest stumble or slip when we work in harness. I’ve learned that I don’t need a firm hand with correcting her at all, I’ve had to force myself to not take the leash to prod her to get going but to rely only on my voice most times. Even the simple act of dropping the harness handle is enough to get her attention without saying a thing when she’s made a mistake like walking me into something.
Anyway, so I’ve already seen that she enjoys the snow. Sunday she was eating snowflakes while we waited for our taxi and yesterday she got to play in the park. When I took her out to relieve after dinner last night, she jumped right into a snowbank and started tossing snow all over. So I thought it would be just fine to get some shoveling done while she was out there playing.
Uhm. I was wrong.
I tossed a shovel full of snow onto the pile and some of it flew in her face and she literally went into a panic. She did the whole startle and duck and I’m sure anyone that saw us would have sworn I kicked her in the face. I felt so bad. I’m a bit used to Dolly, who literally lives for snow. She burrows under it, she digs through it, she tosses it in the air and shoves her head straight into it. She loves to be in the middle of snowball fights and she will actually chase snow being shoveled1 if she’s around at the time.
I feel like a very poor canine mommy.