In his youth, Bear would leap off the deck (skipping 4 steps) and race full speed to the back corner of the yard. He did this so much, it became routine. Whenever I opened the door, he’d leap and run – not stopping for anything.
He doesn’t do that anymore, not often, now that he has arthritis in his back legs. But ever since I started him on an NSAID he has been testing what he can and can not do. He can fly up steps. He can jump into my truck. And apparently, he can leap off the deck and run to the back corner of the yard at full speed.
It only took that last one to teach him his boundary. He walked back from his run a bit slow. I didn’t really notice, I was busy tending to Josie. I did notice when he struggled up the steps of the deck.
Knowing he had pushed himself too hard, I went to help him. As soon as I reached to pick him up he backed away from the stairs and gave me this look.
“I’m fine. I can do this. I don’t need your help.”
“See – easy. Nothing to it.”
We went inside. He was limping a bit, but acted like it was nothing.
We were headed to bed when this happened, so he walked to the stairs and looked up at them. I told Josie to wait, knowing Bear needed help. As soon as I approached him, he glared at me again.
“I told you, I’m fine. I can do this on my own.”
I stood back and watched to make sure he was good. He slowly made it up the steps. Any time he looked like he would waver, I raced to him and he would stop and give me that look again.
“I’m FINE. Don’t you get it. I got this.”
He wouldn’t start moving until I backed off, giving him space.
He made it to the top of the steps just fine. All on his own.
He’s slowly getting better (meds help). Every time I try and help him, he refuses the help, saying “I GOT THIS!”
He insists on doing it on his own. Stubborn dog.
It’s one thing I taught him that he learned really well.