“Do I really have to go to school today?” asked Sprite.
“I’ve got a headache and a stomach ache and my leg is really, really, really hurting and…”
It had become a daily litany.
Usually I managed to cajole and jolly her along but this morning she was refusing to get out of bed and even I could see the shadow of Leaping Attack Black Dog.
“You don’t have to go to school. We are going to tackle Leaping Attack Black Dog today.”
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!” Sprite vanished under the blankets.
“I don’t want to tackle him. I’m too scared! I just want to ignore him and maybe he’ll go away.”
“We are going to help you recognize the times he is likely to attack and use some dog obedience training methods to control him” I told her.
“When you train dogs it is important to teach them to HALT on command, especially if they are not on the lead. There is a hand signal to tell the dog to stop and drop immediately. It is very useful for controlling dogs that are rounding up sheep or cattle.”
We are also going to use the HALT command as a check list for you. If you feel that Black Dog is about to leap think
HALT – Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Any of those things could make you vulnerable to attacks from Black Dog”
“The H can also stand for Healthy and we are going to take you to the Doctor and get a thorough health check.”