Over the course of the last several months, Balton has earned himself a series of nicknames that marry themselves to appropriate situations, or randomly materialize depending on my mood. These nicknames range (coincidentally, many with an alliterative B sound) range from Beebop, to Bubba, to Butthead. But in the last 6 weeks, our dear foster has earned himself a very special nickname, which, like a knight of the court, has been dubbed through great nobility and accomplishments: Balton the Brave.
Balton the Brave is what I can best identify as Balton’s superhero alter ego. He shows up every time time Balton has a big moment, where he absolutely makes me well up with pride for facing the things that scare him and acting with poise and strength. Balton the Brave first arrived on the scene after we had been doing a good deal of practice in seeing new people on leash, not reacting, and getting lots of yummies. We then took our practice to a new level by walking several blocks in the busy streets of Georgetown, DC. Balton was a rock star, and handled himself very well among the commotion.
Today, Balton the Brave once again emerged from his superdog
phone booth crate. Since I switched from working at home to an office job, we’ve had to help Balton get accustomed to the idea of a mid-day dog walker. As you might imagine, this has been a rather tall building to take on in a single leap. Going from a consistent 5 months of having your foster mama home with you for walks and potty breaks, to having a strange new person come to take you out in the middle of the day, isn’t easy. So we found ways to make the stressful event less of an event, and get together for social, fun, after work walks.
Thanks to a very patient and persistent dog walker, and bringing a little outside help from his dog, Lucky Dog Alum Hank, Balton the Brave triumphantly dared to go where no dog…okay, well, where plenty of other dogs have gone before.
I know that to some, a mid-day walk with the dog walker may not seem like a huge deal, but for Balton, it’s another sign of baby steps leading to big strides, and I couldn’t be more proud.