Ellie and I were enjoying a lovely training session on the local playing field this evening. We're teaching her to walk backwards, in addition to her usual things.
There was a woman in the distance who seemed to be doing some obedience training with her Rottweiler, as I was doing some heel work with Ellie. The Rottweiler clearly needs a little more work as it came running over to Ellie, uninvited. Me, I gave my usual look of disapproval and moved further along the field to continue our training.
Shortly after, she stopped to talk with another woman who was walking her Beagle. Twice, she lost control of it, and twice it came running over to interrupt out training. But, she called it back, and it returned without too much problem. We continued to train and to play. Aside from these small incidents, and the fact that it was very cold, all was right with the world really.
Then, our nemesis, the one that Dawn will remember from our walk when she came over at Christmas, came running at us from nowhere, like a speeding dart. It ran right into Ellie. I had to shout at it, and try to get in front of it. Where was the owner? She was that far away, I couldn't even see her. When I did see her, she had a hugely long leash in her hand, and she was trying to watch her small child precariously balancing on her bicycle. This is becoming a regular thing now. This Labrador is bad enough now, and it's just a youngster. If she doesn't start to reign it in soon, she or the dog are going to end up in some serious trouble. In fact, the way things are going, I might be at the other end of it!
This bloody Labrador and its owner are really starting to irk me now. I've written before, I'm not the most sociable dog walker anyway. I like my time with Ellie to be just that. I'm there to watch her, to play with her, and to train with her. I'm not there to talk to all who pass me and walk up to me. I do appreciate that it's a public field and other people are perfectly entitled to walk their dog around it. In fact, many, it seems, think like me and are happy to do their own thing.
There have been a few times that I've stopped and chatted to other dog owners, but (a) it's incredibly rare that I do, and (b) I am very selective, and wait to see how their dogs behave before I even contemplate it.
What I don't like is other people forcing me to be responsible for their dog, as this Labrador owner is doing. I won't do it. I am responsible for my dog and my dog only. The owner doesn't even attempt to call it back. It's as though she really believes that every other dog owner loves to have his or her dog "playing" with other local dogs. Well I don't!
Some day soon, she will regret not keeping it under closer control, as I will simply lead Ellie home, and her dog will undoubtedly follow us!