Harnessing the Hurricane

Hubby and I were browsing the pet aisle at our local Super Wal-Mart when I spied the package way at the bottom of the display.

Of course, I had to remove the harness from the package to see if it would fit. So, while Howie stood rolling his eyes and shaking his head at me, I held the contraption out before me something like this (dramatization courtesy of Angie).

Just then, an unsuspecting Wal-Mart employee came walking around the endcap and saw me. The poor girl’s face morphed into three expressions almost simultaneously: first boredom, then surprise, finally confusion. She then averted her eyes.

Would you blame her? That thing looks more like something you’d find at Fredericks of Hollywood product than an innocuous dog harness in a local megamart’s humble pet aisle.

Considering Emma’s 42-pound heft and propensity for dislocating our shoulders with her pulling, we decided to give it a try. I’m happy to report the harness works great. Here’s Emma sporting her new Yuppie Puppy Anti-Pull Harness (sidenote: we’re about as far from yuppies as a couple of folks can get, except maybe for our unhealthy love of tech gadgets and coffee shops).

When we pull on the leash, it causes the padded straps running beneath her front legs to pull tight, thereby stopping her in her tracks. She can still pull, but she doesn’t seem to want to. When she’s pulling her hardest, I can still control her now. We rue the fact we weren’t consistent with her early training and allowed her to get this bad.

Ah well, we can’t change the past. We’re back on the right track now and I’ve been giving her verbal cues as well as a tug on the harness. It seems to be helping, though she still has trouble when there’s a squirrel or bird zipping by nearby, or when she sees grandma and wants to say hi. Still, I think she’ll catch on again.

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