Sharp-eyed surfers may have already noticed that the photo to the right contains a fuzzy blob with its head in a dish. That blob is Ginny, and she wants little more from life than to be fed, and walked, and to occasionally chase squirrels, and maybe sing a little Biz Markie. She tries very hard to be a good dog, and for the most part, she succeeds. However, we run into two problems on our twice-daily walks:
1. The Train. The road where we normally walk runs near train tracks, and we get a lot of railroad traffic. Ginny is not a fan of loud noises, so when we hear the train approaching, she begins to pull at the leash (an apparent attempt to move faster, though she's never concerned about whether or not we're actually moving away from the train). When the train goes by, she begins to howl, and really starts fighting the leash. Telling her "no" just leads to more howling. Usually, she settles down after the train is gone, but it's near-impossible to avoid the train traffic in this area.
2. The UPS Truck. Ginny's reaction to the train is a nuisance, but her reaction to Big Brown is... kind of scary. She'll bark at lots of large vehicles (the garbage truck, the school bus, the neighbor's F-350) from the safety of the yard, but on our walks, they don't even get a second glance. Not so the UPS truck, which transforms mild-mannered Ginny into the Fourth Head of Cerberus. She tries to tear the leash out of my hand, alternately lowering her body to get more levarage, and then leaping into the air. Meanwhile, she howls and snarls in a show of anger usually reserved for my mom's dog. Scolding is useless at this point - the ears have been turned off. I'm not worried that she'll hurt me, or even the UPS guy (she lets him scratch her behind the ears, as long as she can keep barking at his truck), but she has on several occasions pulled her collar so tight or gotten so tangled in the leash that she starts choking, and if she does manages to get away from me, she will chase the truck heedlessly into traffic (as she did once when the gate to the backyard was left open).
So, dog whisperers, any ideas? Let's assume that beating the dog is not an option.
Trivia questions later tonight...