Saturday, May 16, 2009

More Adventures on the Mountain Bike

Now, for those of you that know a bit about me, you'll know that I have a big, white, goofy Labradoodle named Noodle and you'll also know what I mean when I say it takes her awhile to warm up to new things.

Being her owner, you'd think I'd realize this and embrace it, use it to teach her new things, encourage her to be a braver dog, and most of all, be patient in her training.

Yeah, not so much.

The whole reason for getting a bike - well, one of the reasons - was to get Noodle out on the trail with me. She's a bit over-excitable and can't be out without a lead so I invested in a bike bar that I could use to attach a short lead to the bike.

And thus, I found myself thinking we were going to immediately go out and hit the trail cause in my brain, that's what made sense! I want to exercise so she must want too as well. I heard Letha saying "visualize" so I was picturing wind in our hair ... bugs in our teeth ... life being great and wonderful ... her being tired from the trek ... yeah ... um ... not so much.

First of all, Noodle doesn't like the bike at all. I tried just riding it around the parking lot without her attached to it and she proceeded to back up as fast as she possibly could all the while barking her head off like it was attacking her.

Not taking any lessons from the afore mentioned reaction, I thought it might be better if perhaps she couldn't back away from the "scary thing" and instead had to be in close proximity to it.

So, yes, I know, I'm silly and you can probably see where this is going .... I attached Noodle's leash to the bike bar.

As soon as I clipped her in and bent down to lift up the bike, she took off - taking the bike with her.

Of course, the fact that the bike was following her just reinforced to her that the bike was pure evil. She was yelping, barking, and racing across the driveway, dodging cars, trucks, chickens, and plants. And I was trailing along behind yelling for her to sit (yeah, right), stay (um, yeah), or come back!

By the time I could get a handle on the bike, poor Noodle was shaking and pathetic. As mad as I might have been that my $800 bike had just been part of a mini demolition derby, my heart melted when I looked into her poor sad, scared eyes.

We were back to square one. I couldn't leave the situation like it was though because if I did, I knew that we would never move past it. I could just see her going ballistic if she ever ran into a biker on a hiking trip.

So, after 3 hours of working with her, we finally got to a point that we could ride together side by side. She was still a bit iffy on the bike bar, but we made progress on that front as well.

I have faith that with a little persistence and time, she'll be racing along attaching to the bike bar and hitting the trail.

Perhaps by tomorrow ... maybe ... yeah ... ok ... you're right. Best not to push it.

In the meantime, I'm working on that whole visualizing thing. I do want to be out hitting the trails with my dog so that's what I'm picturing. Eventually, it will happen just like I'll reach my goal of being a skinny girl on a bike!

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