Merlin, my six year old rescue border collie, has been stuck at home for much of the time since I adopted him in December. We needed to build mutual trust before either one of us was going to feel comfortable going places. As Merlin started to relax at home, I began taking him to classes. We didn’t get to go out on many walks, though, at first because I was both leaving and returning in the dark, and then because the deep cold set in here in the Northeast.
The rest of the pack goes on ‘park adventures’ with my amazing dog-walkers Suz and George. Merlin hasn’t gone because we hadn’t yet had the opportunity to do some practice runs. I was finally able to go with Suz a few weeks ago. The plan was for Suz to take Raven and Merlin in her car, I would follow in mine, then we’d all walk together, with Suz holding Merlin’s leash. Slight hitch: Merlin did NOT want to get in her car! He was very polite about it, but absolutely refused. He kept looking back at me, perhaps worried that he wasn’t going to come back home. I went to help; even then, it wasn’t easy. We finally convinced him to jump in. He was fine once we got to the park – didn’t pull on the leash, was great with Suz.
Today was the first time Suz tried to take him with her when I wasn’t there. We decided it was time to try it for two reasons: first, I’m going away this weekend and was hoping Merlin would get out with George, who will be staying with him and Raven. Second, yesterday when George brought Raven and Gryphon home, Merlin went halfway down the stairs to greet him, tail wagging. That was a first!
Suz texted me after she brought the dogs back home. Merlin got in her car with no problem, and everything went smoothly. I’m thrilled that he won’t be stuck at home while I’m at work anymore. His life just got a little bit richer.