Walking to school

Riding to walking

Melly and Rick and Sheldon have been working with me on my leash walking skills. It’s been an uphill battle, especially for me. Walking on a leash is way harder than it looks.

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The above is a video of the first time I ever tried to walk on a leash. Didn’t go too well, as you can see. Since that time I have been getting regular practice, each day adding a little something new. One of the things we added is a car ride before we go walking.

Car time is treat time

I get lots of treats in the car but drives still make me nervous. I am improving though. I get in the car by myself (with sufficient bribes) and I am usually not completely covered with sweat when I get out now. Until recently, we always got out either at the house or just down the dirt road. Then I got a little time on the leash to take Melly anywhere I wanted to go.

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I am dragging Melly to Capybara Creek.

This isn’t enough. Melly has tentatively scheduled October 31st for my first school visit. I am going to officially step into Caplin Rous’ pawprints as Capybara Ambassador. To do that, I have to be able to walk on a leash out in public, meet with people and get back into the car in strange locations.

Good leashes make good neighbors

This weekend Melly and Sheldon took me for a walk in the little neighborhood near our house. You can see by the above photo that we drove there just the way we will drive to the school on October 31st. Melly is wearing her new “3 capybaras walk into a bar…” tshirt. She wears that shirt all the time now. That and the brown one just like it. She says I am the little capybara, Caplin Rous is the center capybara and Dobby Winnick is the capybara on the right.

Let's go! If we sit around here an anaconda will eat us!

Melly wanted to do a photo-op but I really didn’t have time for that. When you’re trying to avoid predators, it’s best to keep moving. See how the hair is up on the back of my neck? Melly calls that my Mohawk look. It’s not my favorite look because it means I’m scared or nervous.

Are we there yet?

After a while I calmed down enough to pose for a picture. I think I look rather regal and dignified in this one. And I wasn’t even pulling on the leash. It’s a scary thing to be all in the open in unknown territory, I’m pretty proud of me for handling it so well. Naturally I had to keep on the lookout for Melly and Sheldon too, they wouldn’t hear a jaguar until they were in its stomach.

Don't panic!

By the time we went back to the car I was walking just as calm as you please. There’s nothing to it really. Okay, I kind of panicked when some dogs were barking but that only makes sense.

Back to the car and (relative) safety

I am better at getting in the car when we are not at home than when we are. I’m not crazy about the car but it’s safer than that neighborhood.

Going home

My trip to the school on Oct. 31st will be just like this, a car ride, walk around the school teaching kids about capybaras, back in the car and then home. I still need lots more practice though.

Sweet rewards

Every walk ends with some rolling in the mud in the creek–not that there is much mud, Melly has to make it for me–and then a swim in the pool. I think I can handle the rest of it as long as I know this lies at the end. There’s nothing I like better than having people help me with my underwater rolling practice. Oh, and pool treats.

5 comments to Walking to school

  • Lissa

    Anacondas live in Texas? Wow! I didn’t know that. And so close to houses too.

    I like your “Are We There Yet?” photo. Poofybara! Your toofers are pretty cute too.

    Do you dance in the pool with Sheldon like Caplin used to? That was so cute. =)

  • Bonnie Vollbeer

    This is one of the BEST blogs Gari has ever written!! It is so positive…. so upbeat. So full of bravery!!! I am very glad to know that Gari is making such good progress with walking on a leash, going in the car for rides and learning to explore new places. First came the neutering adventure…. Now this!! A very good blog indeed!

  • Jason

    anacondas dont live in Texas. Gari just doesn’t know he isn’t in the south american swamp

  • Kerry Anne Kay

    Oh, Gari, You’re doing so well. I’m glad to see that you got used to being at school. I’m a science teacher and would LOVE to have you at my school for the day. We’d set up a small pool for you. *Sigh* Too bad I live in Maryland…

  • Piggusbiggus

    Gari. Just when I think you can’t get any cuter you surprise me.
    Keep up the good schoolwork and don’t let the anacondas get you down.
    Love Billy.

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