Richard and I are not parents yet. I’ve heard it said before that getting a dog is a good way to practice.
Our little puppy is growing up. Well, we never got to see her as an actual puppy, but she’s not even two yet, so I guess that counts.
While riding today, she suddenly darted full speed ahead down the quiet and scenic dirt road we were on to chase after a squirrel. We watched in amazement as her husky and greyhound athleticism combined into a beautiful and powerful blast of speed. But our jaws dropped when the squirrel crossed the road… and Bella stopped dead in her tracks and turned and looked at us, then back at the squirrel. She has learned so well that staying on our side of the road is a matter of life and death that she didn’t even chase the squirrel across the quiet dirt road! We were so proud of her!
Then that evening, we met Dwayne out in his yard and asked him for an idea of how much further it was to the local campground. (They usually don’t allow horses, so we knew we had to plan ahead for a place to stop before we got out on the main road.) Dwayne invited us in for a cup of coffee while the horses grazed in his yard, then offered to help us find a place to put the horses for the night and the livingroom floor for us. We were thrilled to stay, as we really enjoyed his company and relaxing, peaceful home.
But this was Bella’s first night to stay outside on the porch. She had previously stayed outside in sheds or pens, but never loose yet. She seemed ready for this next step, so we put her horse blanket bed (her only sense of ‘home’) and her food and water on the porch. I knew in my gut she would be just fine and still be there in the morning, but I was nervous. She has after all, followed us of her own free will, but still…. Once I quit worrying and fell asleep, I slept soundly…. until Bella whined in the middle of the night. I don’t know if she was doing it in her sleep or what, because she seemed perfectly fine when I peeked out the window. But… I WOKE INSTANTLY OUT OF A DEAD SLEEP… from a quiet whine! I don’t wake up in the night for anything! Lord have mercy… am I really going to wake up for every peep a newborn baby makes?! Maybe the motherhood rumors are true! If I did it for a dog…… oh boy!
Ok all you moms out there…. you can quit laughing now!