I learnt lots about dogs today. Don't enter random fields without putting Rebel on a lead was one. The sign states 'STRICTLY DOGS ON LEAD' so I must. Tom's as good as gold and offers me his collar. Rebel runs ahead into the field ignoring my pleas. I see a curious horse galloping right up to him with tremendous speed and power. Rebel freaks out and emits a single huge bark that sends the horse buckarooing & running in horror. Rebel's lucky, he nearly got kicked to the sky.
He's young and untrained I tell myself. He's not actually a rebel he just needs to learn. That's why I hate his name and it frustrates me when I call him by it. He rarely responds and I wonder if he's actually sure of his identity. I try a different name out. Max. Yeah he looks like a Max but when I try it I see no improvement to his awareness.
Then he surprises me. He responds every time to my softer calls for him. Without fail he comes over & allows me to connect his lead. We practice it a few times.
Ok, so you just want to feel some love. I understand that, but for a big guard dog you'll need to toughen up one day, boy.
We find the Helford Creek and the dogs dip their skinny legs in the dark bed of mud. The tide is out and it's swamp like now. I try to leave before they get too carried away. Five minutes up the field though and Rebel is missing.
I call for him softly and I wait.
I keep on trying but still there's no sign. I tell Tom, "Next time it will be just you & me." He looks grateful.
Rebel is just too untrained for me and so I call out to him, "Never... Again!"
In return I think I hear a struggled bark. Tom looks at me concerned. My tummy turns and we run back towards the creek, undoing all our efforts with the hill. I lay eyes on what I believe is Rebel, ear deep in the swamp. I drop my bag and run faster but as we reach the brow of the hill we spot the dog happily sniffing and splashing close to the bank. Relief and annoyance wash over me and I sense the same from Tom. I try calling Rebel with varied tones until finally making eye contact with him, and for five long seconds we hold a gaze. I softly ask him to come over, annoyed at myself for being so polite. He breaks the contact, dips his head and keeps playing.
Ok, Rebel, you've earned your name.
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