Look what we did today! This morning I dug out the old roller blades (and when I say old, I mean OLD -- I've had these things since.... ummm... I'm pretty sure I bought them in high school). I bought good ones, though, and they are standing the test of time. Back in the day they got used quite a bit, but obviously they've just been collecting dust the last several years.
Largely the reason for that was because of my gravel driveway. It terrified me to try to go up and down that thing, and jumping the curb to walk up and down the grass yard wasn't my cup of tea, either. So, now that the driveway is fully paved I figured I didn't have much excuse to keep the old blades in storage.
I put them on in the garage and rolled around for a bit to get my feet under me again. Whoa, it's been a while.
Secret was TERRIFIED of them. She was scared of them before I even put them on my feet! Once I put them on and started moving around, though, it was just too much for her. I couldn't even get Secret to stay out by us; she retreated into the house to hide and wouldn't come out so long as I had those silly contraptions on my feet.
Oh well, her loss. I figured I'd start with the boys anyhow, since I assumed them to be more "trustworthy" on my tottering feet. The boys have been out on the blades several times and neither has ever had a problem with them. I elected to take everyone out separately so that each could go at a comfortable pace for them and because I figured it would be good for ME to spend more time out and about.
Luke went first. I always put him on the pinch for stuff like this because I don't want him pulling me around on wheels. He was, no surprise, a perfect angel. I let him run for a short stretch, but otherwise kept him checked back to a nice ground-covering trot.
Just like riding a bike, the whole roller blading thing came back to me pretty quickly. Lord knows I couldn't do any of the "fancy" stuff that I did years ago, but at least I can move forward, go around corners and stop. lol
Kaiser went out second and got to wear his harness. I used to run him on a pinch because I didn't want him pulling on his neck, but he has the harness now and I don't really care what he does in that. I didn't make him pull me or anything, no worries. ;o) Part of the reason I wanted to take each dog separately was so that nobody was pushed out of their comfortable pace -- Namely, I was concerned that Kaiser would have to run too much to keep up with the big dogs.
Well, Kaiser wanted to GO. The loop we were doing was roughly 15 minutes per dog, but Kaiser was probably one of the faster trips! Every time I tried to check him back and get him to ease up he just kept moving forward to run again. I guess that's the husky ancestry at play!
Finally it was Secret's turn. On each trip back I was passing the dogs off through the garage into the back yard and she was waiting back there when I brought Kaiser in for the swap. She saw that I still had the scary wheely things on my feet, though, and whined before going back in the house.
I grabbed her harness from where it was waiting in the garage and went back out by the deck steps to call her back out. I managed to get the harness over her head while she stood on the deck and then somehow got it snapped under her while she was still coming nowhere near my feet.
The flexi was already attached to the harness, so I just let her go where she needed to go to feel comfortable at this point. Once I got to the front garage door, though, she figured out that I was heading outside, scary wheely feet and all.
We got through the door and then it occurred to me that I had no idea how to get down the driveway without killing myself. I was almost certain that if I just started rolling down and hitting my break (like I had with the other two dogs) that Secret would bolt on me. I just had her in her harness and would have had ZERO control at that point. I had debated putting Luke's pinch on Secret as a backup to the harness, but she's never had on on before and I felt like if we could just get going she'd be fine.
I elected to walk down the grass in my yard and then stepped on to the driveway for the very last part when I knew there were no cars coming. Secret was tucking tail and scooting back and forth for the first few yards, but then she seemed to figure out that the weird things on my feet weren't going to kill her after all.
Everything was pretty much golden from there. She startled the first time I hit my brake, but didn't try to do anything silly. We really only had one "oh crap" moment and it's entirely because I was farting around with my phone (taking pictures) and not paying attention. I don't know if she stopped to actually go to the bathroom or just to sniff something, but I ended up pulling the harness clear over her head. Guess maybe I need to get that resized to her "not wearing a back on track blanket under it" size... I paid more attention after that and we were all good. Thankfully that happened in an area without any houses on a big empty street.
I had three very happy dogs when I got home! I'm going to have to try to be good about keeping this up. Lord knows I could use it as much as (or more than) them! I was out for 45 minutes today; we'll see how I feel tomorrow.