Last March, Susan (my lovely wife) and X-Celerator, the guide dog in the family, took a trip to Boston for a family issue. Up there X-Celerator performed his guiding duties with near perfection.
When, later the same month, we went to Manhattan for business purposes, the X-Dude strutted around like he owned the place. He weaved between pedestrians, stopped perfectly at every intersection and performed incredibly well.
When we spent a month in the Boston area, the X-Dog was as happy as I’ve ever seen him. Up there, he performed some very complex behaviors in places so chaotic that healthy adults have trouble finding their way around.
When we got back to St. Petersburg and our walks went from having an actual purpose to simply exercising, the X-Man seems to understand that our departure point and our destination were, in fact, the same place, he took to walking more slowly, sniffing more than usual and acting really bored.
On Wednesday, we arrived in SouthBeach, the southern end of Miami Beach. This is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the country; it is filled with the young, the hip, Euro-trash, fashion vampires and a lot of relatively wealthy old guys who want to look at the beautiful women or the men depending upon their preference. In SouthBeach, all of the women are beautiful and the men are even prettier.
Like Boston, Manhattan and Cambridge, X-Celerator guides me with near complete attention. In these places, when I give him the “forward” command, it means: “Avoid these 150 pedestrians about half of whom are looking where they are going; look out for the idiot on the Bicycle; ignore the people eating at tables outside and, by the way, find the next intersection.
At home in St. Petersburg, the same command means, walk down this mostly desolate street and find the next curb. I understand why he feels bored and acts much more slowly back home as, I, a human who cannot drive a car, spend my time working, reading and pretty much feeling bored during the off-hours. The X-Guy is a really smart animal who, like a person, gets bored with doing the same routine every day.
So, any advice on how to capture the interest of a big yellow Labrador is welcome.