I decided that I would not let the rain get me down. I donned my wet weather gear and Mia the German Shepherd and I set off on our walk. Today was going to be slightly different because I was going to let her off the lead and allow her to run free in the big open fields at the other side of the railway lines. She has been allowed off the lead before but those times had been in the company of other dogs and she had misbehaved so much with her biting that she was back on the lead in minutes.
One benefit of the incessant rain is that not so many people are inclined to venture out, especially across flooded land, so not many dogs to worry about. In fact where we went there was not a dog or a person in sight. I still felt a bit apprehensive however as I unclipped the lead ( leash, if you are reading this in the USA) and let her run free. I had no worries about other dogs this time, what concerned me most was whether she would run away and never be seen again.
What actually happened was that it was Mia who was the worried one. She was constantly running ahead but frequently stopping and then running back to make sure that I had not run off and left her. At one point she suddenly spotted a rabbit and took off after it, chasing it into it's burrow. I thought she might be so distracted that she would not respond to my calls, and sure enough that is what happened. I just turned around and started walking in the opposite direction. That got her attention and sure enough she was soon back at my side. I felt really good about that. We really enjoyed our walk without any of the nervousness I had previously felt, and which no doubt has been picked up by Mia.
I think maybe I have been expecting far too much of her, comparing her perhaps to Sadie the German Shepherd, but she is really still a puppy, albeit a very large one, in need of training, stimulating experiences, and lots of exercise. She has learnt a lot already. She is obviously very intelligent. Also today I felt strongly that we had formed a bond.
Of course I don't want her to never socialise with other dogs, so have decided to address the biting issue. I don't know why she does it and I have absolutely no idea how to deal with the problem, but I do know a woman who probably does. A professional dog trainer. I gave her a call and asked for help. She is coming to see Mia soon to assess the problem. This has given me a very nice positive feeling about the whole thing. The other positive thing is she is not going to charge me. Her fee will be coffee and biscuits! I do know some lovely people that's for sure.
Me and Mia the German Shepherd. We're going to be just fine.