Kearsarge High School The Gateway Program

This visit was special because we tried something new. Each week we try to take Lucy for a walk down the hallway of the school. I put two leashes on Lucy, one for the student to hold and one I hold onto, so to be sure that Lucy doesn’t pull the student. This time I put only one leash on Lucy for the student to hold, with me walking nearby. To my amazement, Lucy and the student walked side by side better than when I had doubled leashed her. Lucy could feel the touch of the student on the other end of the leash, she was walking with the feel of the leash that was being transmitted directly to her from the student. Without my interference by me, they walked communicating by the touch.of the leash. It was such a wonderful break through for me.
I have read and taught, how important it is in how we hold a leash leading a dog, how it can affect how well leash walking works, but I never had realized how affective it was when I allowed the student and Lucy to walk together. On our way back to the classroom the bell rang, filling the hallway with many students changing classes. Lucy and the student continued down the hall together. A few other students stopped Lucy to touch her but she continued at the same rate of walking the student did. Lucy stopped briefly but when she felt the leash tighten she moved to be back by the student’s side.
It’s not always the words spoken, it’s maybe the trust and touch on the other end of the leash that makes the difference.

Pam and Lucy

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