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Freedom vs. Control

I’ve been going through some issues with my new dog Buddy. We’re struggling with the line between freedom and control, and we’re both pulling in different directions.

He’s a cattle dog. He needs to run. He aches to run. The problem is he isn’t trained to come back when called. Running loose, he’s a danger to himself and others. He’s very excited to be free; I agonize because he’s not in my control.

He’s found every chink in the backyard fence, so he can’t be trusted to run free there. He’s out in a flash, and won’t come home until he’s ready. He’s free; I’m angry.

Due to all the escapes, he has been sentenced to a leash for everything from walks to peeing. He submits but is not cowed. He waits anxiously for his next chance to get away. I cling to control; he’s frustrated.

I bought him a large kennel in hopes it will keep him safe and secure outside when need be. It’s not assembled yet, so his acceptance is yet to be tested. I’m sure he will hate it. After all, it’s a cage—a nice roomy cage, but a cage nonetheless.

I hope it works out for us. I’ll be free to spend an hour with the cat or my housework, and without the dog on my heels. He’ll be under my control even though out of my sight. At least that’s the plan.

And if I can teach him some control, then maybe he can be a bit more free. And once he gets more freedom, he may be easier to control.

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