Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wiley's Island Adventure

 In our small town we have a place known simply as "The Island."  We live right along the Schuylkill River, and the island is, as you might expect, a separate piece of land connected by a bridge. 

The river isn't too wide here so the island is easily accessed, and in fact is the location of a recreational park. 

There is a sports complex for soccer, baseball, and softball, and the community holds big events there like a 4th of July celebration with fireworks.

 Wiley, of course, is terrified of the entire thing. I took him there often last summer when there was no one else around, particularly right down to the river, and while he wasn't afraid of the river per se, he just didn't like the wide open spaces and newness, no matter how many times we went. 

However, given his recent tolerance of the baseball game, thanks largely to us making a conscious effort at socializing him and the efficacy of the Gentle Leader, we decided to give The Island another try last Sunday.  I thought it would be a nice tie-in to the Great Outdoors theme we've been running.

 Hubs and I walked him there early in the afternoon, hoping we would have the place to ourselves. There were a few other people around, include some fishermen and people hiking the path, but there were no other dogs, which was a good thing.

As you can tell from the pictures, Wiley was remarkably calm (for Wiley). You can see that his body language was much more relaxed as he took everything in.

I would even go so far as to say there were times when he was downright enjoying himself. Look at him playing here!

And he definitely had the last laugh when he jumped and leaned all over my husband and me after he got out of the river. We had lots of muddy paw prints.

 Not to mention he picked up half the island in his big fluffy tail.

Wiley still has many fears to conquer, and our next goal is to take him there with one of his fur pals. By one of his fur pals I mean my friends' dogs, of whom Wiley is frightened and from whom he hides behind my legs. Keep your paws crossed that his next big adventure goes as well as this one did!

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