Maybe I actually have a cat.
Jake has never been all that keen on walks. This has taken some getting used to after 12+ years with Jesse. You see, Jesse loooooooooooved walks. She would actually grab her own leash and shove it in our hands, sometimes several times a day or just an hour after coming back in. During our walks, she would grow stiff and heavy if she thought we were turning back, angling her body in the direction she wanted to go in. She was always eager to explore unfamiliar routes and could stay out for hours. When she was younger, an hour-long walk was normal, though by her standards, too short.
For Jake, 15 minutes is pushing it. He’s a skittish dog, easily startled by loud noises. They trigger a flight response in him. Or rather, a “bolt” response. It reminds me of old cartoons where a character is trying to run away, but panic causes him to run in place and the floor folds up in ruffles. That’s Jake. Motorcycles, a car backfiring, doors slamming—they all would send him bolting. He’d be gone in a flash if it weren’t for the 100-lb weight attached to him (me). So instead, he ends up frantically sprinting in place while I try to keep my shoulder in its socket.
He has been getting better though. It’s been easier to calm him down and carry on. He’s less wary of strangers, more sociable with dogs.
Well, he had been getting better. For the past week, whenever it was time to go for a walk, he would dash under the bed and out of reach. No amount of calling would get him out, not even with my I’m-the-boss-here-alpha voice. I now have to casually close the doors to all rooms before reaching for his leash. If he beats me to it, the only way to get him out is to go in the kitchen and rustle some plastic bags or move containers around. He comes rushing in thinking there’s food to be had and then, huzzah!, I trick you!
During the walk, he seems pretty normal. He poops, he pees, he sniffs, he tries to go back every quarter block. I don’t get it. It’s not like anything out of the ordinary happened a week ago so why the reluctance? My dog is a weirdo.