Newlie the Knucklehead (Long)
I was so mad at my knucklehead Thursday evening I couldn't see straight. Mind you, there are parts now that I think are pretty humorous, but at the time, I was not amused.
First, I had purchased a flirt pole from Amazon that was delivered and decided I would try it out. Several years ago, I had set up a tetherball set for Newlie and, though he loved it, we had to stop playing because he became so intense chasing the ball that he would not listen to me. It was a little frightening too, I never felt like I could just go in and take the ball away if he grabbed it, I wasn't sure if he even knew who I was when he was like that. His trainer came over to my house and saw it one time, he was able to make Newlie "off" with an e-color, but said Newlie reminded him of a malinois chasing that ball. Aside from this one thing, Newlie always has been a soft shepherd.
So, we gave up tetherball and I would hit balls for Newlie with a tennis racket. He was still intense chasing the balls but controllable. However, he is several years older now and, just recently, I saw a slight limp after several brief sessions chasing the ball so I decided it was time to move him away from that if I could. The abrupt turns, the stopping on a dime, the jumping up in the air….I was afraid for him. I had been playing tug and using a homemade flirt pole in the house with Newlie and he was doing fine, so I thought the combination of him being older and me being a stronger leader would make using the new flirt pole outside OK. Boy, was I wrong!!
As soon as I started swinging the flirt pole, Newlie started chasing. After a few turns, I was feeling a little dizzy, so I slowed down which made it possible then for Newlie to grab the toy at the end. OK, then it became a ferocious (and ridiculous) tug of war, him at one end pulling for all he’s worth, the cord stretched all across the yard, and me holding on for dear life at the other end to keep the flirt pole from taking off toward Newlie like a javelin. He finally let go and I managed to grab the toy up into my hands. So then, Newlie starts jumping at me to get the toy, darn near knocking me down in the process. I kind of flung him away from me, yelled “No” at him, and discretion being the better part of valor, walked to the house and put the flirt pole away.
After a few minutes, I decided to try Trieball with Newlie again, mistake number two, or three or whatever, since he was obviously still much too hyped up from the flirt pole. I had no more carried the ball outside and the minute it touched the grass, Newlie was on it like a snake, sunk his teeth into it and it was flat. For whatever reason, that was the last straw, I was livid. I grabbed the remains of the ball, turned around and stomped back into the house and spent a few minutes fussing about the big blockhead I had left out in the yard. The, I heard a little cough outside and ran out to see if Newlie was OK and forgot I was supposed to be mad. Of course, he was fine, I don’t half put it past him to work up a fake cough to get back on my good side again, lol
So, back to square one.