Samson vs. Snake

I’ve been doing a lot of learning on Samson’s behalf lately. Today it all came together.

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As you can see in the picture above, Samson is hanging out with the group for the photo. Unlike the last photo I posted where he was represented by just a tiny tip of a leash, as he walked out of shot to do whatever he damn well pleased!

I was giving Samson small-dog slack for a long time. He was manageable even though I knew in the back of my mind that he knew he was getting away with not listening. Then I eventually got tired of him straight up ignoring me. You know, the kind where they look at you, consider their options, and then blatantly opt to not follow your directions. So for the past few weeks Samson has been doing more earning of his off-leash roaming privileges. This includes holding a spot for photos.

I feel like kind of a jerk, or an egomaniac or something, making this “harmless” little guy listen to all my obnoxious bossiness.

Until Today!

These five dogs and I were hiking in Sibley. Beautiful, hot day. Walking under some shady trees. All of a sudden: rattling! right under my feet! I pick up the pace with Tootsie in tow, “come on everybody let’s go!” Thankfully Banner, Ani and Pepa were already up ahead, as usual. Samson was hanging back, typical, leaving his mark every ten feet. With Tootsie out of harm’s way, I look back to see Samson seriously walking TOWARD this giant rattling snake in the middle of the path that is coiled up ready to strike anyone’s tiny little head. So I get majorly intense and moderately hysterical in my commands, “SAMSON! NO! SAMSON! COME!” Thankfully this time he took me seriously and zipped up the trail, and we left that big scary snake in the dust. Of course everyone got lots of praise for being such good snake-avoiders.

It was a stark reminder that this is the scary stuff we’re planning for in all our group sits, on-leash breaks for non-listeners, millions of recalls, chill car rules, and the obedience practice practice practice. Good safe hikes for good dogs!

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