Trying to keep my dog, Goose, busy is quite the task.

Goose gets a roughly three-mile long walk, seven days a week from either me or my roommate, but recently, he’s decided that I’ve gotten complacent taking the same route most days and is refusing to take the route through UNM north campus we’ve taken for the last few months.

Cameron Goeldner mug

Cameron Goeldner 

He’s terribly stubborn, and won’t even walk past the road we typically turn on. In the wake of this, I’ve been scrambling to try and figure out where we should walk.

Goose certainly has a mind of his own that makes it much harder to map a route out on the fly, because sometimes he simply decides he won’t walk that way and stops cold in his tracks until you turn around, which is not the easiest thing to deal with on narrow trails and sidewalks.

Despite his recent run of stubborn behavior, I’ve generally been very thankful for the need to get him out and moving during quarantine as it has forced me to stay active in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I’m hopeful that someday he’ll be able to move consistently enough in a straight line that we’ll be able to go jogging without the risk of him stopping in front of my feet or swerving into me that exists currently. Time will only tell.

We usually run for a section of our walk every day, but he likes to sprint and then stop, which isn’t exactly easy to deal with.

The lease on our apartment is up at the end of the month and we’re house hunting to try and find a place where we’ll be able to give him an outdoor space he can run unbothered in and on his own, in order to get him a little more stimulation every day. My roommate works overnight, and I work during the day, which leads to someone being home with Goose most of the time, but he spends much of that on his own because we’re sleeping, which leads to him sleeping.

Some days, the first three hours after I get home are spent trying to wear him out from a day of lazing around. He hasn’t really figured out how to play by himself yet, so I end up walking him and spending the rest of the time trying to find the right combination of training, playing and doggy puzzles. I hope it will get him to settle down enough for me to sit, uninterrupted, on the couch for more than a few minutes.

As we enter our first summer together, its definitely going to be interesting to see how the heat impacts us. I’ve already noticed he’s a bit more lethargic on the hottest days, even just lying around the house.

We’ve been going on our walks as late as possible without being in the pitch dark, but even still, it’s been too hot for us to go a full three miles even with a full bottle of water, which he will drink straight from and one of the funnier things I’ve seen a dog do, and a wet bandana tied around his neck to help keep him cool.

He’s got an all-black coat, which certainly contributes to the heat, so I can’t wait to have an outdoor area where we can go, either in the shade or after the sun goes down that I can just let him run free in.

Based on the reading I’ve done, it seems that he’s a relatively lazy dog given he’s an Australian Kelpie, which are working dogs.

May marked six months of him being with us, and it’s hard to believe how quickly the time has gone. I’ve certainly learned a lot and I like to think we’ve been able to take better care of him with each passing day.

Now that more places are opening up a bit and his behavior around other dogs has improved, the next big phase with him will be getting him into more comprehensive training classes so I can learn better how to handle him and get him to respond more frequently to commands, which is our biggest issue at the moment.

He eats in his crate, and we make him wait for the OK to start eating, and he’s got that down. I’m hoping he’ll take to everything else just as well.

Sports writer

Cameron Goeldner grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended the University of New Mexico. He covers everything sports for all Valencia County schools.

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