We’re still uncovering the many mysteries of Jenna, our lucky find from the Humane Society. She’s been with us three weeks now, and has many secrets from her checkered past. Like why she prefers to eat her food off the floor rather than from a dish, and dumps it at every meal. Or why she jumps at loud noises, but is happy letting the kids climb all over her. Or why she refuses to get into the car.
But she knows what it means when I get the leash, and manages to contain her excitement just long enough to allow me to clip it on her collar. Yesterday I took advantage of her enthusiasm and cajoled her into the car, driving to the nearby regional park for a long walk in the woods. I let her off the leash for awhile before it was time to head back home.
“Jenna,” I called in my sweetest voice, realizing it was going to be a trick to get her back into the car. She eyed me cautiously, assessing my motives and deciding to stay just out of reach.
“Jenna!” I tried the firm tone I use with the kids when I mean business. Her tail dropped between her legs and she backed off further.
“JENNA!” I hollered, telling her in no uncertain terms I was done messing around.
Funny thing: the louder I yelled, the further and faster she ran.
Clearly, I needed to revise my approach. I took a deep breath, walked calmly over to the woods at the edge of the lot, and sat down in the grass. After a moment, Jenna came trotting over to say hello with a big smile on her face.
As I relayed this episode to my husband later, he said, “I think we’ve learned one of Jenna’s secrets.”
“Yeah? What’s that?”
“She’s apparently an escaped service dog trained to teach anger management.”
Perhaps she’s decided I need a crash course.