At first when I was out in the garden, I still couldn’t be let off the lead. There were too many smells and trails and the humans were scared in case I chased something and managed to jump over the fence. So, they couldn’t do anything much in the garden as one of them always had me on a lead. This meant they were getting frustrated but I didn’t know they were frightened of me running away, so I just thought it was normal and that sometimes they were quite frustrated. The first few weeks and months I was allowed some freedom on the end of a long training lead so it could be grabbed if I decided to try and make a run for it over a fence. Soon however humum decided that I had calmed down sufficiently and that we would try training for something called “recall”. There were treats involved so I was always going to be interested. We were on the patio and I was still on the lead being walked round in circles left and right. Then I was told to sit. This was easy! Then wait, still easy! Then the lead was dropped and I just sat there. They were shocked and I could see they were still worried. I just had my eye on the treat bag hanging off humums belt. She walked back 2 or 3 paces and then returned to pick up the lead and we walked round again. We did this a few times and I was getting the hang of it, especially when the treat bag appeared. We tried this for a few weeks, gradually moving to the point where I was sat down and the humans could walk around the patio and I didn’t move. Clearly they didn’t pick up on the connection between my good behaviour and the treat bag!
Then, one day, my world changed forever. We were all in the garden and humum said that they needed to take a chance. We went around the garden, which I call my grounds, and I was really enjoying myself and wasn’t pulling on the lead and harness. There were no smells so I was calm. I was told to sit, in the middle of the lawn and humum unclipped the lead from my harness. I was free! But something strange happened as I didn’t run away. I sat and waited for the humans to say something. When I heard the magic words “Ok, off you go” I just got up and strolled off. I was free, I could explore and I could sniff wherever I wanted to. This was very different and I wasn’t about to mess it up. I was very happy and after a short time I ran around the garden aroo-ing at the top of my voice. I was happy, I was being trusted and I could run around. There was a football and tennis balls which needed to be played with. I ran and chased and fell over a couple of times but I was having so much fun, and the humans were laughing with me. They threw a tennis ball for me and I was whizzing up and down the garden chasing it. The football was kicked around and I chased it for a while.
Gradually they were able to do more gardening without worrying about me. When I was first allowed off lead in the grounds, they were concerned that I disappeared from sight sometimes, but I was only exploring round the garage or the shed and they shouldn’t have worried about me. There are so many smells to investigate that I would wander about and generally have fun and feel content. As long as there aren’t any pesky squirrels in the trees, I am very content to wander around the garden, and laze about on the porch of the playhouse or log store. I found out that the patio table was good for sun bathing on, and I could lay up there for quite a while, supervising the humans in the garden. I kept them on their toes though. Every now and again I would make sure they played a game of chase or find the human in the garden, just so they didn’t forget about me. They also found out that if one of my beds gets put on the bench, I will quite happily laze away a couple of hours relaxing, interspersed with running around the garden like a fur possessed.
Often I will also help the humans by digging holes for them. I thought I was being useful but apparently I am digging holes in the wrong places and they have already planted things there.