Perspective from a Dog going to PAQK Bootcamp

August 12, 2021

What is your dog thinking?

Good question!

From body language to barks… dogs communicate what they are thinking or feeling all the time.

In this story, we imagined what a new arrival to one of our boot camps would have to say:

My leash has been up on the kitchen counter since last night. I know we’re going O-U-T, today.

Is she awake yet?
Maybe my wet nose in her armpit?
“Ughhh ok, ok, I’m up, I’m up,” my packmate says.

Good. Good. Good.

She kicks her legs out of bed and slips on those fuzzy slippers I like to gnaw on behind the couch… my den. I’ve already chewed three pairs, but she keeps buying more.

Good. Good. Good

Is that the sound of the door opening? Woosh… I push past her and mark my favorite spot on the lawn…ahhh  What do I hear next? Foood! More food added to my always-full bowl  No waiting or begging for me!


She’s grabbing the leash! Must jump… Must circle …. Must pulllllll… pullllll.. pulllll to the car.

“Slow down boy, relax,” she says, but I can’t stop. I have squirrels to chase… SQUIRRELS!. I see one, and I’m off running…until… my collar causes me to start choking. But, that’s ok… we are going for a RIDE.

Nose against the glass.

Nose against the glass.
And, let me start that high-pitch whining and barking that makes her shoulders hunch… until… yes.. the window is down and I’m leaning out, my ears flapping in the breeze!
Good. Good. Good.
Hey, that was the dog park we just passed.
Dog park.
Bark… Bark… Bark
Are we there yet?
Tell me we’re there.
Why are we going so slow?
I’m hungry again.
Where are we?
Was that a SQUIRREL?


Wait, what is that?

A boat. A ramp. A circle thing in the air.
And… DOGS! Soooo many dogs.
Let me out.
Let me out
Let me out.
Pulling, pulling, can’t breathe… but can’t slow down.

So many dogs, So many people, it’s P-L-A-Y-T-I…


My packmate stops. I stop. That was loud.
I hear the voice again… ‘Who’s DOG is THAT!?’
Then I see her… the LEADER.
I want to smell her… jump up and say h-e-l
Did she just step towards ME and defend her space!?…. woah.
LEADER looks down at me.
I don’t like that.
Stop looking at me.
I lean on my packmate for help and.. oh no… she gives my leash to the LEADER!
We are walking fast.
I know how to stop this… I sit.
LEADER pulls ME.
Ok, I’ll run away.
She pulls me AGAIN.
I try to go in a different direction.
She pulls.
And… she’s looking at me AGAIN.
Soon, we’re going to the left, we’re going to the right, she’s stopping, we’re turning, we’re walking.
What is happening to me? Do I kind of like this?
The longer we go, the more I like it…, I feel calm.
The LEADER is in charge, and that’s ok. I actually feel calmer following her guidance.
Wait, is that a boat? That’s not ok.
No, not getting in the boat.
It’s wobbly. It’s strange. I’m afraid.
LEADER tugs. She insists.
LEADER tugs again, she must know I can do this… and.. I JUST DID IT.
I’m in the boat. My tail is wagging. I’m proud of myself!
And, I’m out of the boat.
LEADER rubs my head, she’s proud of me too.
Wait, is that a ramp? My next challenge?
The day passes quickly, my entire body is tired.. including my brain (although I’m not sure what that is).
Time to go home.
Time for a ride.
I don’t care about the squirrels,
I don’t care about the food, not even the slippers can keep me awake.
Not today.
We did good today.
I hope we come back soon.
But for now, I close my eyes, a tired, trained, and very happy dog.