Monday, 23 August 2010

Cheese please!

You know I've told you I have this problem with cats? Well, it led to my family keeping my muzzle on for the first three weeks when I went for my daily walks.

It gave them a bit of confidence I think when I strained at my lead, and barked. The cats that REALLY get my goat are the ones that sit there staring me out because they know I can't get to them.

Well, they've now decided to take my muzzle off because I am always wearing a special tight greyhound collar fastened high behind my ears - so I can't slip my head out of it - plus the 'grab' collar I always wear so they KNOW I can't get my lead out of their hands and make a run at the cat.

The Lady Of The House used to get a bit confused in the early days when I strained at my lead and barked at one particular house a few doors away from us where there were a pair of boots outside the front door.

"They are just BOOTS, Winnie. Don't be silly," she would say. It took her days to realise that there was usually a cat under the car next to the front door and THAT was what I was barking and pulling at.

I always remember where I've seen cats before, so even though we go on lots of different routes from our house. I always prick up my ears and use my super sight hound skills to check if there's a cat there again.

This morning we'd just left our house when there was a cat under a car so I ground to a halt, and really pulled and barked a couple of times, but the L O T H held me tightly by both collars so I couldn't rear up on my back legs and said "No Winnie" firmly and made me walk on.

At the end of our walk we went back the same way. I think the L O T H did it on purpose as a test because we could have come back to our house from the other direction. She was ready before I'd even remembered the cat-car-house was coming up and had a tight grip on both my collars. Then she walked me swiftly past the car (and the cat) talking to me all the time and when I walked past with only a long lingering glance of interest across the road. So then she told me how clever I was and called me a good girl in her nicest voice and I was quite pleased with myself....then we were in the front door and she gave me a little piece of cheese. MY FAVOURITE.

I'm not promising I'll always be so calm when we go past a cat - it depends what the cat says to me. But a bit of positive reinforcement - and a piece of cheese for being good - may just swing it.

No comments: