San Antonio's Famous Riverwalk

I'm so pleased that Jeannie finally brought me to the San Antonio Riverwalk.  Ben and Jeannie have been talking a lot about their move to Chicago, Illinois in August 2011.  They worry about how I'll react to downtown life in a very busy city, so they plan to take me on some downtown San Antonio walks before the move to get me used to the hustle and bustle of city life.  

It's very easy to live in San Antonio and never encounter any tall buildings, crowded sidewalks or noisy traffic.  In fact, I've been doing a pretty good job of avoiding downtown San Antonio my entire life.  Today we finally ventured to the San Antonio Riverwalk where lots of SA residents go jogging.  I have been known to tackle joggers like a powerful Linebacker! Jeannie has to grip my leash very tightly to keep me from springing up to give a friendly, yet terrifying hello to neighborhood joggers.  Like I've said before, she has A LOT to learn about handling doggies.  Up until now, she's been a bit too worried to encounter joggers on the Riverwalk.  There's a good chance that I might knock them right into the water if I'm not careful.  She got lucky -- there were no joggers around this afternoon when we went down those wonderful stairs and onto the San Antonio Riverwalk between St. Mary's and E. Martin St.

Here's a map of the route we took:

Once we got to E. Martin, we retraced our steps all the way back to the downtown dog park at the intersection of Camden and Dallas.  I actually started our afternoon outing here at the dog park, but Jeannie thought I was behaving too crazy to stay.  In fact, the last few times I went to Camp Bow Wow, the counselors have said the same thing.  They say that I play so aggressively (mouthy, not growly) and rough that they're nervous I might start a dog fight.  Here's a terrible secret I've been keeping from my blog friends -- on Friday when Ben's daddy was here, I actually got kicked out of Camp Bow Wow for this!  Jeannie was so shocked that she kept asking the staff member who called her "We're taking about Mayli, right? The big black dog -- Mayli? The impossibly sweet black dog?"  It was definitely me they were talking about.  And until this afternoon, Jeannie had been one of those owners who was in denial about my naughty habits. She hates running into these owners at the dog park, by the way, and feels like a huge hypocrite.

She asked me to stop twice and even put my leash on me once after a particularly chomp-tastic doggy came into the park.  After the second time she had to chase me around wildly yelling my name, we left.  Wham bam.  Jeannie had had it!  Since she'd bought about an hour on the parking meter, we ventured into downtown San Antonio.  A lot of my bad habits have been on Jeannie's mind today.  I can't wait for April to roll around and for training classes to begin  -- she could really use some help!

Here's a video of me walking nicely along the Riverwalk.  Jeannie was trying this technique of stopping dead in her tracks every time I put tension on the leash and waiting until I gave slack before proceeding.  What do you guys think? Is it working?


  1. Whoa! Who are you big girl?! I don't think I have met you before but you are a beauty! You look like a *real* labradane unlike myself who is just passing as one! Sorry you got expelled from camp :-( i am reading this on momma's phone so I can't see your walkie video but I will try to come back. Momma tried that whole 'make like a tree thing when she was trying to stop me from pulling. As if! I am sure that works when the humans don't run out of patience and IF the doggie is one who wants to go forward. I totally stumped momma though because when she would stop I would star sniffing whatever was in front of me then she would start walking and I would not budge! She gave up though but hope you are catching on b/c you get more walkies that way!
    Nice to meetcha!

  2. @Moose
    I'm so glad that you came to visit, Moose! You know, I do the same thing that you described -- I just sniff the ground, or eat acorns! :( Jeannie doesn't know what to do when I drag her across an intersection -- is she supposed to stop in middle of the road?! This consistency thing might get pretty dangerous, if you follow it to the letter.

    - Mayli the Labradane

  3. I love lunging at unsuspecting joggers too! I know the Mommas always get really stressed out when we go hiking, and grip my leash really tight when we see anyone passing by. A really bad experience was when this little boy was DASHING past by me, and I really couldn't resist lunging at him! How could I? But his Dad was absolutely disagreeable. He raised his water bottle at me! Can you imagine? Momma-2 was absolutely indignant and gave him a telling off, because I was on a leash and there was no way I could reach his son. I think the incident made them very very upset though, especially Momma-1. I guess we're in the same boat here!
    I'm sorry you got kicked out of Camp Bow Wow. =s I bet there was a little prejudice involved, seeing as you're a big (not to mention gorgeous) girl. If a chihuahua was mouthy, they wouldn't think twice about it! Hmph.
    Tell Jeannie not to be too hard on herself. Sometimes us rescue girls just come with some baggage is all! We're more complex and deep that way. ;) And she's not a hypocrite. A hypocrite can't admit they're hypocrites! She's doing the best she can and you're lucky to have such a dedicated human.


  4. Hey, Mayli! We've just gone back to catch up on your posts since the last time we visited. Looks to us like you did a pretty good job on your River walk. The training should teach both you and your pawrents quite a lot; hope your dad will also participate, as it's important both pawrents are consistent, just like when they have human kids. And Honey's blog is an EXCELLENT training resource. Don't know whether we mentioned that mama has decades of experience with Danes [and quite a few Dane-mixes, once she got into rescue], so she really wants to see you and your pawrents succeed! You seem like a very confident Dane, which is wonderful considering your early history. Your pawrents can learn how to channel that confidence so you're a well behaved doggie they can take any place, just like Honey.

    Oh, before we forget, mama strongly recommends you get a feeding stand for both your food and water. You are too big a girl to be bending over to eat off the floor. It's bad for your health, increases your danger of bloating, and is just plain uncomfortable. Your pawrents wouldn't enjoy eating if they had to stand up and bend their heads over until their heads touched their toes when they were eating.

    Didn't know you were moving to Chicago in the summer. The move itself will be quite an experience for you [and the kitties], but we're sure you'll adapt.

    Jed & Abby

  5. @Mayli the Labradane
    Moose's mom here- what a lovely peaceful walking spot! She does not seem to pull too badly so maybe it will be easy to correct. I suspect the answer to the intersection question is that you are not supposed to go to distracting places until the training is ready for it. I guess you would use a harness when you wanted to walk and could not be consistent for reasons like that. I dunno, that is where I quit! I am sure you will stick with it longer than I did! Moose is stubborn by nature and likes to mark things so it was an uphill battle that was too frustrating for me. I need help from a trainer but live in a very small town with limited choices. bad excuse though. I look forward to reading your adventures!

  6. @dewdana
    Hi Dewdana! Thank you for stopping by to weigh in! :) Jeannie agrees with you -- while SHE'S walking me, I don't pull too badly. But, when Ben or Ben's daddy try it, I just never stop pulling. Jeannie and Ben definitely have some training philosophies to sort out...:)

  7. @Jed and Abby in MerryLand
    Hi Jed and Abby!

    You know what? Jeannie loves Honey's blog for that very reason! She has commented to Hsin-Yi that her website reads like a how-to guide for people like can I put this nicely? Well, people who just don't know anything about dogs. I think she has successfully brought a lot of opinions on various aspects of dog behavior and training together, so her visitors can take a very well-informed second step. Jeannie has spent a lot of time reviewing the site for information and has taught me the "bed," "spin," "back," and "bow" commands. :)

    With respect to the feeding bowls, I started out with them elevated. But, Jeannie did the reading thing and found that pesky study from Purdue (2004) that made her think the bowls shouldn't be raised. Here's what she thinks: there is lots and lots of controversy surrounding food and feeding methods, especially for us larger doggies. So, each owner has to do what let's him or her sleep well that night. ;) Having said that, she's very open-minded and is always looking for evidence to support an opinion change. Thank you for giving such good advice! It means a lot to us!

    - Mayli the Labradane

  8. @Summer
    Thank you, Summer! Thankfully, I was only suspended from Camp - Jeannie brought me back on Monday and gave them a bit of advice to make me a bit more calm -- take me out to go potty before I interact with other dogs. Isn't that funny? For some reason, when I need to go potty, I get crazy. Instead of barking and walking to the door, I just chase cats or nip at heels. On top of that, I won't go while out on a walk, or at the park until someone tells me to.

    Jeannie has a suspicion that I just needed to go potty the day they sent me home. So, she brought me back on Monday and gave the staff that information. At the end of the day, everyone told her that it seemed to change my mood. We'll see. :)

  9. We love walking on the River Walk. Every weekend we park at the Pearl Brewery (Saturdays are fantastic for the Farmer's Market) and walk to Houston Street and back. It's about 4 miles round trip and wears Gus out!

    Exciting about your move...we LOVE Chicago and visited almost once/month when we lived in Iowa City. Best of luck to you!