Sunday, June 5, 2016

Jessica's second hike

If you go to the above site and then go to the June 2016 gallery you will see some photos I took this morning[comprising the first several photos in the June 2016 gallery}.  Jessica is gain strength noticeably each day.  When she first arrived, May 27th on her 8 week birthday her legs were so weak she was wobbly and occasionally fell over.  Yesterday without coaxing and without my even watching she climbed the stairs by herself.  I noticed her back there having gone up three or four steps but continued on with something I wanted to take up stairs.  I planned to go back and get her.  I suspected she would have given up and perhaps turned around but as I turned there she was.  I walked back and looked suspiciously at Ben to see if perhaps he had helped her, but he was lying on the landing looking innocent so, despite the improbability that she actually climbed the stairs on her own I concluded she must have.  And just a bit ago to put it once again to the test, I took her down stairs for something and then went on back up by myself.  She was a bit slower than yesterday, perhaps because of the hike which tired us all, but she came up by herself once again.  She has yet to master going down the stairs however -- maybe tomorrow.

Given her progress I wondered if I needed the camera bag for her to ride in.  On the way out she whimpered for me to pick her up but she was only in the bag for a few seconds before she wanted back down.  On the way back however (as you can see in the photos) she wanted to stay in the bag for longer periods.

BTW, my last note which seemed a sort of "Hallmark moment," later on made me feel silly.  Because she soon turned into a berserk wild creature, rushing madly around, grabbing stuff some of which I tried to grab back to no avail.  Ben and Duffy simply got out of her way.  She didn't quite bounce off of walls but came close. She wound down and I tried to take a nap in my lounge chair but soon woke as a result of her jumping up and biting my arms and whatever else she could reach.

If you look at the photos she seems sweet and gentle.  Maybe in a couple (if I uploaded them) you can see a little perversity in the corner of one eye.  I mentioned in my last note how Duffy put her in her place, chasing her under the hall tree when she misbehaved, but last night out back in the dark, I shown my flash down on Jessica and she was crouched down ready to spring at Duffy.  The look in her little eyes seemed to say, "I think I can take you," and given her energy level I wasn't sure she was wrong.

No one should get the idea, however that I am complaining.  Note that on the hike everyone was getting along perfectly.  This has been my experience.  Whatever social hangups anyone has at home (and Duffy has a lot of them), they are all forgotten on hikes, and soon the camaraderie of the hikes extends to the rest of the time as well.  Jessica may be an extreme test of this thesis, but she is progressing and learning at a remarkable rate.

One other thought I've had, given the example of Jessica's prowess at not quite 9 weeks of age:  I probably don't need a dog more formidable than she to deal with anything untoward entering our yard in Sandpoint.


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