Do people pick up hitchhikers anymore?  I didn’t think so, since there are so many crazies out in the world.   The rock band, The Doors put it so eloquently: “if you give this man a ride, sweet family will die, killer on the road”.

So, I ran out of gas last week on the highway and I just made it to an exit ramp.  It’s not my first time running out of gas, I think it’s actually my third time, however, my wife, Julie, would say it’s been more than that.  Fortunately, there was a gas station at the exit ramp, only 100 yards away.  I walked into the place and asked if they had a gas can I could borrow.  The lady behind the counter said, “Yes, but we ain’t got no gas”.  As I looked at their gas pumps she stated, “We quit selling gas 6 months ago”.  The nearest gas station was a mile and a half away, so I started walking.

I was wearing camouflage pants, black hoody, and a black skull cap.  I stuck out my thumb and the first car that passed pulled over and picked me up.  I was shocked!  I thought, “Who picks up hitchhikers anymore?”  I commented to the nice young man,” I can’t believe people still pickup hitchhikers”.  He said I looked like a good guy and gave me a ride to the gas station.  Once I filled up the gas can I started hoofing it back to my car, again sticking my thumb out.  In under a minute a pickup pulled over and I jumped in.  I told the older gentleman thanks and my surprise at how easy it was to catch a ride.  He explained he had been in my shoes once and someone was nice enough to help him out.  I guess it all comes down to trust.

Trust is having honesty, dependability, strength, and reliability of care and custody.   Do you have a trusting relationship with your pet?  Trust is built by spending time with your dog, petting, talking, playing, and teaching rules.  Dogs love schedules and routines.  They want to eat, sleep, go out, and exercise the same time every day.   They also don’t handle gray areas well.  They need to understand what the rules are.  You cannot let them sleep in bed with you when your spouse is away and make them sleep on the floor when their home.  Inconsistency only confuses the dog and makes them anxious.

Find a fun game you enjoy; chase the ball, hide and seek, play tug, on just go for a walk.  All dogs need exercise and psychological stimulation.  They need to explore different places and environments.  My dogs love hiking in the woods.

Finally, building trust is about being a confident leader.  You need to teach the rules.  If you don’t set the rules your dog will and that won’t be fun for either of you.  Remember the CPR of training; Consistency, Praise, and Repetition.  Follow these guidelines and you will be on the right track for a long trusting relationship with your dog.

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