Laying Down on the Job

Laying Down on the Job
The Santa Monica Easy

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sunday At the Beach with Dory

In a continuing episode of Adventures with Dori - scared, adorable Jindo dog extraordinaire -- currently being fostered by this Santa Monica resident, this photo essay is submitted. 
"I'm the best dog I know how to be..."
Sunday, March 4th, having made impressive progress facing fear and flinching in Santa Monica, I journeyed with bright-eyed and eager Dori through the loudest part of Santa Monica to its most congested and attractive part -- the beach.  Actually we only went to the Pacific Palisades park which overlooks the beach near Wilshire Blvd. 
Regardless of the beautiful day, clear sky, low surf, Dori Dog was none too impressed, clearly turning his back on the ocean so it wouldn't scare him.  Earlier he had been seriously startled by his shadow so the ocean scene was a bit beyond his ability to face new fears for the day. 

Walks with Dori are studded with full-body flinches and crouching plus the occasional attempt to avoid or escape.  Dogs and those on the other end of the leash are supposed to enjoy and bond during walks but walking with a hyper-vigilant and nervous dog who turtles his tail with every city sound is challenging work (to be fair, for a dog whose previous 5 years was spent alone on the end of a long leash staked in a back yard in the quite Pasadena mountains, Santa Monica must sound like he's in the midst of blunderbuss hunting season for Jindo dogs). I thought a back pack would help Dori feel more confident on his walks. So, with the help of one of Mr. BoJindo's back packs, which arrived today, Dori got a new red bag! 
"Now what?"
Dori accepted the back pack (which, empty, is about the weight of a bath towel) without fear even though it required some fiddling under his chest where the straps connect with clasps that can sometimes pinch. Nevertheless, Dori stood still while I lowered the shoulder straps over his head, the bags across his back and clicked the chest straps together.  I had to cinch the chest straps a bit since Dori is probably 10 to 15 pounds lighter than Mr. BoJindo but Dori patiently tolerated -- or perhaps enjoyed -- all the handling and physical fuss.  The pockets are filled with his poop pick-up bags and some handi-wipes or me.  When he gets some of his weight back I may add a water bottle so he'll have water on longer walks.

The back pack seemed to help Mr. BoJindo focus when he walked or hiked so he wouldn't ramble and charge off to the end of his leash after a squirrel as much as he did without it  I hope it'll help Dori feel more secure when we walk.  We'll soon find out!

Once outside with his back pack, Dori met my neighbors who patiently introduced themselves and offered a gentle hand to scratch his neck. 
To be continued... 

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