Hell has frozen over.
Nick went off with Nala while I started behind them with Van-Ly. We took a couple of steps; she surged. I did the about face thing. She surged. I did the about face thing. We did this half a dozen times. Twice she got on the wrong side of me and I had to put her back where she belonged. Unfortunately, the normal correction for this fault won't work with her; Nala is the only Chow we've owned that can figure out what to do when she gets tangled around a tree, pole or person. Partly, as well, it's my fault. I've always insisted that they walk on the inside, away from the road, which in this instance means on the right. Today it occurred to me that as long as she's right next to me, she should be safe on the road side. Or neither of us will be.
Van-Ly is so bored with attention training, that she cries all the time we're out, so I've decided to move on to Lesson 2: Heeling. I watched the tape. I practiced with my husband as dog stand-in. Husband-as-dog corrected what I was doing (sometimes I wonder if someone is slipping stupid pills into my wine) and out we went.
We did the surge-about face routine for about 5 minutes, not getting further than the front of the house when, as we were once again heading in the right direction -- she got it! Hot damn! My dog heeled. We only had to make 2 surge turns in the half kilometer to the river and only 1 coming back. My dog can heel. I have a heeling Chow. Can I say this another way? We are a little success story.
I realise we have a way to go, but I'd never have believed we'd have got this far. Thank you, William Koehler. Wherever you are, I'm sure it's not where you'll have to worry about the climate blip.