Thursday, March 25, 2010

She Loves Me; She Loves Me Not

Part II

When Abby saw me arrive home every day, she would be excited and want to play. It wasn’t from being isolated or alone. My mom was with her at home all day and kept her company almost all the time. But when I came home, Abby would wag her tail, run to me, jump up on me and start to play. I didn’t think about how much she really loved me. I wrote it off as boredom or excitement of something new.

(I showed the ‘aerial’ view of the backyard to show the relation of the pool’s edge to the fence and to the trampoline. From the edge of the pool to the trampoline was about 3 or 4 feet and the height difference from the pool’s edge to the top of the fence was about 3 feet.)
Even in my mid 20’s, I would often jump on the trampoline. One day after arriving from school, I greeted everyone, changed into my shorts as I usually do (in the lab I wore jeans) and went to play on the trampoline. Jumping on the trampoline meant not playing with Abby or paying her any attention at all which frustrated her quite a bit. On this day when I did this, this was too much for her to handle, and with my back turned to the fence while I was on the trampoline, I could feel something drop onto the trampoline. It was Abby. She had run down the pool’s edge, leaped completely over the fence and landed on the trampoline!

I couldn’t believe it. Even as a puppy, Abby was big-boned and stocky, so it was shocking that she had so much pop in her step. Looks were very deceiving in this case. It kind of reminded me of this 350lb Olympic weight lifter who could slam dunk a basketball.

Abby was so happy to be with me, and we started to wrestle on the trampoline. Abby would jump the fence a few more times in the weeks to come. The last time she did it, she clipped the fence and tumbled onto the trampoline. I guess that scared her a bit so she never tried it again, much to my relief. It was fairly obvious how attached she was to me. I wouldn’t realize how attached I was to her until later.

In the mean time, we owned two dogs that our fence could not contain. Father could climb the fence, and often did. As a matter of fact, that was his choice of getting in and out of the fence. He would not wait for us to open the gate for him when he wanted to get on the other side from where he was at. Although Abby could jump the fence, she never did except when I was on the trampoline.

This concerned my mom, so she bought a new fence. It was around 5-6 feet high, and its perimeter went around a wider area of the backyard than the old fence did which gave Abby much more room to play out back. Abby wasn’t able to jump the fence nor did she ever try. Father, on the other hand, could climb it, which he often did. There were days when he was tired where he went to gaps or weak-points between the fence and the ground and crawl under it. Fortunately, Abby didn’t try that method of escape.

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