Now that Bonita seems to have imprinted on me and is my little shadow, I thought she might trust me enough to go on a walk. I wanted to see how she would react out in The World since it would literally take more time to drive to the vet than for us to walk.
Bonita clearly understands what a leash is. I walk her around the yard daily and she gets so excited when she sees the leash. She doesn’t understand yet what a harness is, but she is super patient while I get it on her — it still takes me a few tries!
She was nervous about leaving the property, but after that, she was like a new dog. My belief that walking her in this neighbourhood would put me on a “stupid s*** gringos do” page was warranted — we accumulated quite a pack of barking dogs on our adventure, as well as some bemused stares, but Bonita handled them with complete equanimity — she’s used to being surrounded by packs of barking dogs and if mom is there, who cares about a few stares?!
She was curious and clearly happy to be out. She did pull at her leash a few times, but mostly stuck by me. I don’t think I’ll need to teach her “heel.” She handled both the quiet side streets and the busier 21 well, so I think she’ll be just fine along super busy 60 for a couple of blocks.
As we were on the home stretch, a man stopped me to chat about her! He said she looked stressed to him, but once he knew that she was on her very first walk, he said that she actually seemed to be doing very well in that case and that I clearly had a good handle on her. I liked when he said she is “bonita” and her ears perked up. My girl knows her name!
Walk are definitely not going to be a daily thing, unfortunately, due to the amount of disturbance we caused with all the loose dogs running about and barking. None seemed vicious or dangerous, but I can imagine how annoyed the neighbours would be if this were a daily occurrence.
What progress Bonita has made in her first month here! I have a new dog almost every day, one that is less timid and more affectionate. I can imagine it will be a few more months before all her secrets are revealed and I know who my Bonita really is. I have to say that having her tucked up tight next to me as I write this versus sitting at arm’s length as she would have been until a few days ago tells me that, clichéd as this is, the best really is yet to come.