Amazingly well disciplined dog
Some years ago I went to Prague for the first time to visit a Czech friend of mine. She told me that I was to wait on the platform of the metro station and she would find me there. When she arrived I was very surprised to see her walking down the platform with her Cocker Spaniel who was walking by her heel with no lead.
A few days later we went out for a walk and even though we were walking along pavements with a lot of traffic on the road, again Girda the Spaniel did not have a lead, although Sabina did have a lead around her neck just in case.
We arrived at a pedestrian crossing and we waited for the lights to go green for us. Girda sat down beside us and waited. When the lights went green, Sabina gave a command and Girda got up and trotted over the road beside us.
I commented about how well behaved her dog was. Sabina beamed and said that that was nothing, watch this! At the next crossing we all stopped and waited, but this time when the lights turned green Sabina did not give the command to the dog, and Girda just remained sitting and waiting. We crossed over the road and started to walk down the road. Girda just sat waiting patiently.
When the lights changed again, Sabina gave the command, and Girda walked over the crossing and then ran down the pavement towards us and went to heel. I was really surprised to see such a well disciplined dog being able to run around like this with no lead.
Walking in the forest and still being well behaved.
We finally arrived at the forest where we were going for a walk, and Girda was allowed to run free and Sabina and I carried on walking and talking. Then there was a sudden sound of barking in the valley below and Sabina commented that Girda was chasing a deer. She called and blew her dog whistle and very shortly afterwards the dog was back. Girda was told to go to heel which she obediently did and after a while, she was told to stop chasing deer and allowed to roam free again.
I commented again on how well Girda was disciplined and how well behaved she was at all times. What Sabina said to me was quite profound and I have used it a lot because what she said is relevant in so many circumstances. She said, “It was hard for me, and it was hard for Girda to learn to be disciplined, but I had to do it in order to give her freedom.”
How true this is. Girda was allowed off the lead virtually all the time, and free to run around and all because Sabina knew she would come back if called and do as she was told. It is a pity that our children are not subjected to the same discipline nowadays in school and at home. Without discipline and barriers, there is no self-discipline or self-respect, and much less respect for others.