Life with our puppy is beginning to settle down a little, there are certainly less wees on the carpet, and we have started to take her out for little walks. The advice we have received is that she walks for no more than 5 minutes for each month of her age, which is 15 minutes. This, I thought, was plenty of time to get round the block. I am determined that she will not pull on the lead but will walk nicely by my side. One of the main purposes of getting a dog was as company for me when I run and so it is imperative that she is well under control on her lead. According to the books, the best way to train this is to simply stop every time she pulls: soon she will learn that pulling has the undesired consequence of, briefly, stopping her walk, but a gentle pace keeps things going. We have not got very far down the road! Someone told me last week that this was a good and quick way to teach good lead manners and might take as little as a month!
I have begun to think of my thought patterns like this. For all my life habitual thought patterns have dragged me along feeling helpless in their wake. A conversation this week led me to link this to walking the dog. I need to be in control, I need to stop when they are running away with me. It isn't easy and sometimes it takes less effort to let them pull me along with a "What can you do?" expression on my face. But if I am prepared to exert myself and my will, to stop when I start down the same old rutted paths and challenge old and false patterns, perhaps it won't be too long before I don't find myself dragged into the ditch any more!