Duck and Dog Whispering
July 3, 2010 § 7 Comments
Today, I watched as my pup swam with a family of ducks. It was our second meeting – the six of us met last week at the quarry lake, but I didn’t realize that we had made a connection. Today, the connection was clear – Junior swam slowly and parallel to the family, and then veered off to bark and splash the water away from the flock.
People laugh when I tell them that Cesar Millan is my hero, but he is. His techniques have helped me with my dogs tremendously and recently I realized that I am now psychologically calm as I have never been before. Meditation hasn’t worked for me, nor medication, but being trained by Cesar has.
Since I’m a Millan addict, I’m always training the dogs, and last week when Junior and I were at the lake, I saw an opportunity – the duck crew was there. They scattered when they saw us, but when they realized that I wouldn’t let Junior chase them, they waddled back on shore. I made him sit calmly as they passed by (a bit nervous but duck bold) and Junior watched as the parade passed us within six feet.
And they remembered. This morning, Junior was swimming circles in the water as I watched from the shore. Soon, the papa duck noticed us from his hidden shady spot and made his way towards me; the mom and two adolescents followed several yards behind. Closer and closer papa duck came until he was a foot away from me and then his family joined him. They surrounded me, necks bobbing in and out, and papa pecked softly at my running shoes. After standing around me for about five minutes, they made their way to the edge of the water. Junior swam to the shore and stood quietly, ears low, tail level, watching as they entered the lake.
Then he slowly swam after them. One sharp “hey” turned his attention to me when I thought he was getting a little too close, but the ducks weren’t worried. After some dog and duck swimming, the duck family paddled out and circled me again before making their way to the shade spot under the trees.
We built a circle of trust. A truly magical morning.