Saturday, April 01, 2006

Lucy the Lemming

As Dr. B and I walked Lucy before heading to dinner the first night, we got the scare of our lives.

You see, Lucy is a jumper. An escape-artist, if you will. I've seen her scale 6-foot wooden fences with little effort. She can jump from the ground to the table-top of a picnic table in one leap, without backing up (which is pretty good for a 60-pound dog.) She loves to hop on top of large boulders, stone walls, etc., and because of this, when she is outside she must be tethered on a lead--a wall would have to be at least 10 feet high for me to trust her, and then only if there was nothing anywhere near it she could use to scale it. Even then, I would worry.

When we first got her, and didn't know how she would behave when we weren't home, I tried to lock her in the kitchen when we left. The baby-gate I put up was nothing, she jumped it without a thought. I decided I needed to make the obstacle a little higher, but no matter what I did, she made it over. One day, I put up the baby gate, with several chairs stacked behind it, plus laundry baskets on top and blankets--the obstacle was taller than I was. I got home to find her comfortably snuggled up on the living room rug, and the obstacle was not even touched. I still can't quite believe she managed to jump it without even disturbing the blankets. Luckily, she was not a chewer or destroyer, so eventually we learned to just leave her alone. She could be trusted.

Except when it came to Duchess/Queen Anne's castle wall.

We came upon the medieval fortress, and Dr. B and I walked up to the waist-high stone wall that surrounded the deep moat. Quick as a wink, Miss Luce jumped for the wall. Luckily, she was wearing her harness, which also functions as a dog handle--and we both shrieked "NOOOOO!!!" as we grabbed for her.

After her near-death experience, Lucy looked confused as to why we had stopped her. We carefully lifted her front paws so she could look down and see just where she was jumping.

I truly believe dogs have just as many thoughts and feelings as humans do, and if you watch them carefully, you start to see them expressing themselves. Lucy leaned against Dr. B as if to say, "I'm sorry Dad. That was really, really stupid of me. Thanks for not letting me jump to my certain death at the bottom of a muddy, medieval moat." The rest of our visit, Lucy stuck very close to us, and didn't jump anything, period. Phew!



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