This morning I attempted to take Maddy for a walk. We have this routine: I let her stretch her legs off leash to the end of the driveway (about 500 feet), then we put on the leash and do our "circuit." On the way back, I let her off at the bottom of the drive, and she chases the birds up to the house, where she comes inside for a puppy treat (usually a bit of cheese stick).
Today, all bets were off. No sooner than we were out of the house, she turned and attacked my shoelaces with the enthusiasm I usually reserve for creme brulee. Then she caught sight of a bird in the next yard and ... ZOOM! ... she was off in a flash. Bird flew off, and flung herself at me with alarming enthusiasm, given her velocity. ZOOM! ... a gust of wind ruffled my pants leg as she chased a robin who'd landed several yards behind me.
"Come on, Maddy. Let's go for a walk." Apparently I must have said it in Swahili, as she barely broke stride as she dashed for the far end of the property, where we had spotted a small herd of white tailed deer the day before. ZOOM!
After several minutes of this, it finally dawned on me that the command "COME!" was not registering in her doggy brain. This is bird chasing season, darn it. Who wants to WALK?!
"Ever notice that she listens about as well as the kids do?" my mild-mannered husband asked me when at last I came back inside, sputtering at my insubordinate pooch. "Do you think it's US?"
Food for thought.