Having my own way when she wants hers....

My 'girlfriend', as I call her, is more than 8 ½ years old. She is an active, alert dog, but movement for its own sake is less important to her than it used to be. Very often, when we arrive at one of our several haunts, she likes nothing better than to plonk herself down in the grass, to sniff and watch the world go by. I usually indulge her in this, even though I try to get her moving, as well. But in any case, we can't stay there all day -- she in the grass with her nose in the air, me standing or on the grass beside her, with my eyes on my Kindle. At some point, I have to get on with other things. But she often won't get up right away. And yesterday she wouldn't budge at all.

I had to decide what step then to take. I really thought we'd had enough time out, and I really did want to get back home. So I had a choice: to get quite noisy and sergeant-majorish while tugging on her lead. Or: to go in the opposite direction of quietness, gentleness, and withdrawal. I chose the latter, and slipped the collar over her head so that the physical connection between us was broken. Then I walked off with the lead, saying 'goodbye' and heading for the car. It only took a few moments of that before she had got up and was following. 

She needed that connection, the safety and comfort of having me beside her. I used the lead as a means to having my own way -- but by removing it and giving her the 'choice' of staying or coming. In the end, what she wants more than anything is to be with me. So both of us were happy.