we hit a milestone today! on the way home with four bags of groceries, my dog (dandy), and my daughter Saari, i skidded on ice and totalled two of the bags (the handle ripped through on one and the bottom blew open on the other. so i redistributed the broken bags into the other two and sacrificed the bread by tying them shut then bundled them into my arms bec it was way too much for the flimsy plastic handles to manage. except i had the leash. holding the bags up like i was (one on each shoulder) was yanking and jerking his leash and it was really not nice for either of us although he graciously did his best to cope for the six feet i lasted. so i'm standing there thinking "crap" and figuring wth, i'll just leave one bag in the parking lot at canadian tire, bring the other one home, then come back for it when saari pipes up "i can walk him!". she was looking at me with her big eyes pleading and i thought "oooh, i dunno....." cause dandy does have a habit of charging off if something gets his attention. esp tonight i was leery bec i could hear dogs all around town barking, howling, and generally sounding lunatic so i just wasn't sure. but she begged and pleaded and wheedled and i thought well, if worse comes to worst, i'll tell her to drop the leash and i'll just call him from the house if he takes off. he stayed right by my side the WHOLE time except for once where saari fell headlong in the snow and lost the leash - he dashed up a hill into a little copse which was surrounded on three sides by fencing for various properties, was gone for about 40 seconds or so, then came barreling right back down to sit in front of me. i guess he had to see a man about a horse but no way was i going tramping through woods in the dark to bag and tag. we passed two hot spots (two houses on the corner, both with female dogs) with nothing more required than "no, dandy". every time he surged ahead, saari would go "whoa-whoa-whoa!!!!" and he'd come back to my side for a treat she would pull out of my pocket. at the house, i saw something really had his attention: his head and ears went up, tail went up, body went very still and i thought "oh, yikes!". he didn't take off, though: he pushed me into my driveway, then turned with his butt to me and faced the trees separating our yard from the neighbours.... which had a dog running at large! ***and he didn't go rushing off to it!!!*** saari (6yrs old) was able to hold his leash the entire way home from the field, which is about ten minutes, past two hot spots and a loose dog, without ending up grooving the pavement with her teeth! i'm so proud of him!