Last Sunday we took some of the dogs from Abandoned Pet Rescue to the Fort Lauderdale Winterfest. The purpose was to let the public see the little darlings in hopes that they will get adopted. As of this time, the dog I brought, a black German Sheppard named Dean, has been tentatively adopted. Hooray!
One of the odder things I saw while at the Winterfest, was a lady walking her two little daughters on leashes attached to harnesses. They were exactly like the rig I had Dean the dog wearing. Now I know that parents have a lot to worry about, but really, kids on a leash? Did they transport them to the park, in a large cage, in the back of an SUV? I was tempted to offer the girls one of the doggy treats I had in my pocket for Dean, but my sense of decorum prevailed.
Sunday was the first time I have ever walked a large dog using a harness, and it was an eye opener. Up until now I have always used a choker chain to walk big dogs, and no matter how much I yanked on the damn thing, the dogs would yank back even harder, often resulting in me ending up splayed out on the ground. Dean is a powerful big dog, yet in the harness he walked by my side with ease and without pulling away. When I walked Dean later in the week, I put him back in the old choker chain, and he dragged me along for two blocks. My dog Chandler pulls the same way, and it was obvious that I needed to get him a harness, so this week he and I went to the pet supply store to fit him with one. After peeing on some shelves, and trying to eat one of the low perching birds at the pet store, Chandler finally settled down and let me put him in his new harness. It was a miracle! Suddenly the beast that has been ripping my arm out of the socket for the last year and a half, became a docile, well behaved dog.
All of this has given me another idea for when Mark and I go shopping. The only problem will be getting Mark to stand still while I put the harness and leash on him.