Tonight we went out for sir Oliver’s normal evening walk, except it was not as normal. Since he lives with us, over the last weeks, we only had nice summer weather, which is odd for Autumn. So tonight I put on my summer jacket and sandals, just like I did this afternoon. Sir Oliver had his harness and leash on and his LED collar with red lights so he is visible in the dark. We were about to put our first feet outside the doorstep and sir Oliver took his pawn rapidly inside the house. It was dark and I had not seen or heard that the weather had changed into rain.
The evening walk is sir Oliver’s last walk before the next morning walk, so I needed him to at least pee, to get him through the night. There I was, the dog refused to go into the rain and I wanted him to quickly go pee, and go back into the house again.
First of all I couldn’t believe that I had not seen that the weather had changed, I was clearly not here and maybe even a bit rushed, and I knew I wanted something the dog had no interest in. I decided to gently force him to get out of that doorpost. At that moment it was raining a bit and the streets were wet, it was more like a drizzle rain. So once I had him outside I had to do a lot of pep talk to get him going. I was aware of the fact that Beagles do not like rain, and we were not sure whether sir Oliver had ever experienced rain in his life. The 2 months he was in the boarding kennel, we only had dry weather and a heatwave, so this could be his first shower.
It didn’t feel good to gently force sir Oliver to keep walking in the rain. I didn’t want to rush him and I didn’t want him to get afraid of the rain. On top of that he didn’t do any peeing, so my logic was to keep on walking and do a short walk. The rain that had been a drizzle rain at the start of our walk became a heavy shower in minutes. Sir Oliver could not stop shaking the water off of him and I could feel the rain entering my jacket. At a certain point I could take shelter in front of the bicycle shop. Here we both agreed on stopping and simply watching the cats and dogs falling from the sky. Within a few minutes the shower went from heavy to drizzle again and we continued our walk.
At that point I could see that sir Oliver was more relaxed and started searching for scent trails and be his own self again. Then he finally did a pee, I was so happy, at least my forcing him into the rain had a positive result. In my mind al kinds of scenarios had already taken place, of sir Oliver not being able to keep it dry throughout the night and much more.
I decided to add another loop to the walk, since sir Oliver seemed to like it now. He even walked through the puddles now. I felt so relieved I didn’t have to gently force him and happy for him being okay with the drizzle. The point was, I felt like the bad guy for making him do something he didn’t want to, still from a point of seeing him as pitiable. I really have to stop doing that, his past is his past, and yes I have to take it into consideration. As long as I see him as victim and as a result I see myself as his savior, we are not getting anywhere. The funny part is, when I gently force him to go to the right when he wants to go to the left, I have no problems with that. I had never problems with being directive and a bit forceful with my kids when they were small. Though as long as I define myself as his savior I will walk into these kind of issues and dilemmas. For the both of us I have to change my attitude, how hidden or even suppressed it is, it’s not bringing us closer to being equal as living beings.
This being said, my daughter and I decided to buy sir Oliver a raincoat, so he will not get wet, yet be able to walk through the puddles. And I’m going to commit myself to be more aware of the moments I feel sorry for sir Oliver or the moments I do not want to do certain things to him. In such moments I see myself as his bully, and thus I need to play with different outcomes how I can turn around my thoughts and deeds. We need to become caretaker and animal and equal to the life we both breathe.