I think my kids were hoping for a more "manly" dog. I think they wanted a rottweiler, or a pitt bull, or Doberman or something. They wanted it to have a name like "Brutus" or "Killer", and they wanted it to wear a studded black leather collar.
My kids aren't too happy about having a dog that wears a sparkly gold collar. They don't like having a dog that is female with fluffy hair. I think one of the hardest things for my kid is my dog's name. Somehow it goes against their manly grain to even say the name Sally. They have tried to call her different names that rhyme with Sally. Frankly, she does answer to anything that rhymes, even Ugly, and Smelly. (My son has tried). My oldest son started calling her O'Malley. That one kind of stuck, but we use it kind of like a last name. I don't think my family will ever see what I see in this dog, but that's okay, she's my dog.
We are still having a little trouble with training, but I do see improvement. I have started a new tactic, and it is working. However, today I made a big mistake. I usually try to take her for walks in the morning to a place where I can let her off the leash to play with my neighbor's dog, and to run. She needs alot more exercise than I can give her, so letting her run does the trick. But today we took the dogs to the park down the street. There was no one around, so we let them off the leash. But then we got distracted argu...ahem, I mean, talking about politics, and suddenly looked up to see her running full speed across the park to meet a dog that was being walked by it's owner. When I called her back, she totally ignored me.
The lady with the dog looked like she was going to have a heart attack. As a matter of fact, she was reaching in her purse, and I think she was going for pepper spray. But Sally was just being friendly, so I would have been a little upset if she had sprayed her for that. I finally caught up, and could hear the woman saying, "Could you get her?". I walked towards them, but the lady continued her run with her dog and took off. Of course, since I hadn't quite gotten there yet, Sally ran after them. The lady started to get upset and said, "Can you come get her?" Sally was just trying to make friends with her dog, nothing agressive. I finally said, "Stand still. When you start to run, she runs after you before I can catch up to her." So she stood there so I could leash my dog. I said, "She wants to play, but she needs to learn to come when I call." The lady just took off again. I guess I will have to stick to the regional park where it is legal to have the dogs off leash.
But seriously, if you don't have dogs, or if you have a dog that you keep away from other dogs, please learn from this woman's example. Don't keep your dogs away from other dogs. They can learn how to socialize, and they will actually really enjoy it. Dogs know how to handle other dogs who are too excited. There are a few agressive dogs out there, but most dogs that are off leash, are ones who have demonstrated that they like to make friends.
Meanwhile, I'll be working on teaching Sally better social skills besides running up to meet other dogs.