My arms are sore. The day prior, five friends and I flipped a giant tractor tire a mile. (It’s a workout created by my sister-wife. She dubs it “the enTIRE mile”.) Upshot is my forearms are Meredith Baxter Burny, and correcting Tulip on our walk is a chore. I decide that, instead of physical corrections, I’ll use mind control. I say, “Tulip!” real short and concentrate real hard on being the boss of her, and wonder of wonders, she drops back six inches letting the leash go slack.
I have to do a lot of mind control, probably about as often as I’d been doing tugs on her collar, but my forearms are saved.
I spend most of the day crying. Emotional upheaval, probably not helped by the fact that I’m not sleeping enough. I’ve been walking the dogs between 9:00 and 10:00pm to beat the heat, but when I get home, I’m wound up and don’t go to bed until midnight. Tonight I skip the dog-walk so that I can get to bed at a reasonable hour. Lights out at 10:37pm.
My brain wakes me up at 4:15am. Stupid brain.
[My friend asks, "Aren't you scared to walk that late at night?" Um, I'm walking 190 pounds of pit bull. Nope, not scared.]
More mind control. I think it’s working. I have to choke up less on the leash when we go by the house with three big Rottweilers in the yard. At home, I look online at Rottweiler rescues. I need to stop; I have a problem.
Tulip has 120 Facebook friends. No adoption prospects.
On our late night walk, the pack gets agitated. I look around to find a loose or stray dog (it’s too dark to see if it’s wearing tags) about 20 yards away. Redford lunges, and when he can’t get at the stray, he redirects on Violet and Tulip. Tulip snaps back. I’m able to separate the dogs and hustle away from the strange dog. People pooh-pooh pinch collars—they say they’re cruel or whatever—but those things are the only reason none of us has to go to the ER.
I have scheduled a walk with the adoptive “father” (he’s only 22!) of Tucker, the boy dog that was confiscated with Tulip. In the pictures, Tucker and Tulip look alike, though he’s clearly mixed with something other than pit bull. It’s possible Tulip is his mom or sister. I’m hoping she remembers him and they have a grand ol’ time together.
We arrive at Duke’s east campus. Tucker walks up with his person. Tulip is excited. She tenses up. She sniffs at Tucker. He hesitates. She says not-nice things to him.
We walk anyway. It’s fine. But damn.
I go on a tubing trip down the Dan River that lasts three hours longer than I expect. Tulip is in the crate for almost eleven hours. When I get home, she has jumped around in there and managed to slide it across the room, but she’s otherwise OK. I’m too tired to take the dogs for a walk.
Tulip is CRAZY. Between the long stint in the crate and not being walked since Friday night, she has a lot of stored-up wiggles. She gets them out by running laps through the house and tossing her deer antler to herself and then chasing after it.
We go on an extra-long walk. I use a combination of physical corrections and mind control.