Oh my my my. Life has a way of being so interesting. Last night Willie boy reminded me of the joys of a well-trained dog. I am still full of relief and pride that he was such a good boy.
Here’s what happened: Willie and Hope and I were outside right before dark, enjoying the perfect evening (most appreciated after a week of hatefully hot and humid weather). We tend to stay behind or beside the house, because of the road that runs by the farm in the front of the yard. We are situated at the bottom of a steep, curvy hill in one direction, and a blind curve coming the other way. There aren’t a lot of cars on the road, but when they go by, they go by very, very fast, and most of them couldn’t stop if they wanted to.
Needless to say, if I’m going to have dogs loose outside in the yard they need to be 110% reliable on 1) stopping on cue, no matter what and 2) never, ever going anywhere near the road. (I never walk the dogs down the road, even though it would be a lovely way to get exercise. I strongly suggest that if you live near a road and can manage it–many people can’t, I know–do all you can to avoid walking on the road itself). I work on it obsessively, and can tell Will to lie down and stay and I can walk across the road for any reason and trust that he’ll stay in place on the other side. However, I don’t do it often, and if I do, I never take my eyes off of him. Why risk it, right?
While the 3 of us were outside basking in the glow of evening, I saw a disturbance in the brush across the road. I was worried the pup might see it and take off after it, even though it was a good 75 yards away, so I ran him inside, and told Will to “Lie Down and Stay” on the front lawn while I went to investigate.
Short Story: While leaning over the brush to get a better peak, I ended up in a free fall of about 3 feet, landing on my knee on a sharp rock in a drainage ditch. Full disclosure: I am a five-year old when it comes to injuries. I would love to tell you that I’m a hardy, strong warrior woman, but the fact is that I scream like a victim in a horror movie when I’m hurt. There are a few things I’m pretty good at, but being stoic is not one of them. So I’m lying in this muddy, deep ditch, shrieking like a banshee for heaven only knows how long. I eventually hauled myself out, crying like the total baby-wuss that I am, crawled across the road and looked up to find . . .Will, big-eyed, mouth closed, and in the exact same position I had put him.
Be still my heart, Willie boy, I am SO proud. I’d had already started the pup on “puppy pauses’ beforehand–what a great reminder of the importance of a great stay. I’ll bet some of you have your own stories of “The World’s Greatest Stay.” I’d love to hear them. I’m hoping to get a video of how I’m working with the pup soon, just in case you are interested.
Meanwhile, back on the farm: (Well, I guess we didn’t leave it.). First and most important: Will and Hope have ups and downs, but things are definitely going in the right direction. Yeah! ….. when it’s good it’s SO great to watch. Will was getting very relaxed until last night, now he’s all worried and doesn’t want to play (because of me… he can’t bear loud noises.. and this time I was the one making them). Their play styles are very different, but they’ve been doing some mouth fencing/wrestle play in the house that makes me smile big time.
Jim has his new brace on after surgery.. turns out it’s worse than the hard cast. Poor guy, he looks like something out of Iron Man, it’s a huge black thing that is heavy and unwieldy. Six weeks of that and then he’s free! My knee will be fine, nothing to worry about I’m sure.
Here’s Will and Hope running together in the yard:
And here’s the trail behind the hill last evening…. ummmmmmm. (But the gorgeous flowers are an alien, invasive species, so I am slowly trying to get rid of them, but they are sooooo pretty now, hey? (Having a little trouble with photo sizing with updated version of the blog… sorry! will get fixed soon).