Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Dogs need vacations too

Good news, Oreo can now jump on the couch! At least we think that's good news. Hopefully, this doesn't mean he will now eat the sofa cushions and pillows.

How did this happen?

A week in a house filled with stairs.

Our house rental in Maine had a lot of stairs. There were stairs from the main level to our bedroom. Stairs from the upper deck to the yard. Stairs to the beach.

If Oreo didn't want to get stranded somewhere, he had to learn to use the stairs. Or whine, until Mommy came to get him.

Jeff played tough love with him and forced Oreo to climb the stairs from our bedroom to the main living area. After a couple tries, Oreo climbed the stairs without coaxing.

There was a blanket trunk at the foot of our bed. Oreo learned to use that as a step to get up on the bed! That was quite a leap for a little dog. Now, we knew his jumping potential was there, but would he use it elsewhere?

Yesterday, as we sat on the couch to watch TV, Oreo made an attempt at a jump to join us. Misty was kind of in his way, so all Oreo could get on the couch was his belly. Jeff and I were excited, we hoped maybe this was it. Jeff got up and made room for Oreo to get a running start. Oreo took a couple steps, and up on the couch he went! We praised him and clapped, Oreo lapped it all up. Then, we pushed Oreo off the couch to see if he could do it again. Maybe it was just a fluke. This time, Oreo ran into the kitchen, did a lap around the table, into the living room, and then a huge leap onto the couch. You would have thought he won an Olympic gold medal from our response. I guess it was like when parents see their kid walk for the first time. Oreo sat there panting, soaking in the praise, with a look on his face that said,"Yeah, I am so awesome." Misty kind of looked at us like, what's the big deal, I jump on the couch all the time.

This made me think, maybe dogs need a change of scenery every once in a while too. I'm sure dogs can get in a rut being stuck in the same house, yard, and even the same walking route each day. Not much opportunity to expand the brain. You can only smell the same frog carcass so many times. As much as dogs like their routines, sometimes it can be good for them to get out, have new experiences, and learn how to do new things. Even my anxiety ridden Misty, liked Maine so much that she had to roll in the seaweed to bring the scent home. Believe me, seaweed smells much better than some other things she has rolled in at home. You don't want to know.

As a side note, I learned something too on our vacation. See that picket fence? Oreo's ball went over it. Rather than use the two gates to get out of the yard, I attempted to scale the fence. I was convinced I could do it. Jeff screamed, "Wait, I'll get it!" What? You think I can't jump this fence? I'll show you. I used to do gymnastics. One leg went over easily. If I could just jamb my foot between the pickets, I could make it over. Or not.

I now have a huge bruise on my thigh, along with some serious road (fence) rash. It is painful to wear pants and cross my legs. Even worse, I had to be rescued and carried off the fence by Jeff. Luckily, I brought a first aid kit for the dogs. Hope its OK to use dog ointment on people.


Anonymous said...

We just want to offer Oreo our CONGRATULATIONS on her successful leap to the couch. First, comes the couch. Then coes the bed.........then it's a leap over the motorcycle!!!


Sara said...

Thanks! We are very proud of our little Oreo cookie dog.