Friday, July 25, 2008

Highs and Lows

When I got home from my meeting last night, Nora was in a fabulous mood. It seems Isaac had fished some left-over chicken thighs out of the fridge, then decided they were a little too ripe for human consumption. So Nora got some attention, and some nice greasy chicken bits, and bonded a bit more with Isaac and Lucas (who sat on the floor and played his guitar for her), and generally had a good time. Then I took her out in the field to practice some obedience commands - which of course involved cheese - and she was the most relaxed and happy that I've seen her yet.

This morning, we took off on our walk as usual. She's much better on a leash these days; she understands that when I say "car," she has to come over and walk immediately next to me. But the rest of the time she is free to follow interesting smells, lag back a little or range ahead a little, so long as she stays within the boundaries of the retractable leash. This was working out beautifully. I set the pace and direction, and she didn't pull or give me any trouble at all. But as we were walking past a field, she was trotting along in the ditch with her nose to the ground. She must have caught a whiff of something and tried to follow it into the field for a bit before I called her back. Now this was a hayfield, being used for cultivation rather than for grazing animals. There was some tall grass along the edge, but I had no reason to think there was an electrical fence. As a matter of fact, with all that dew-covered grass, you'd think any electrical fence would have been shorted out anyway. But all I know is that just as Nora hit the edge of the field (and just as I was calling her back), she let out a huge yelp and came running to me for protection. She cowered on my foot for a while, then finished the walk strictly on the pavement, occasionally shying at things like banana peels and twigs. And now she just wants to lay on the living room carpet and look depressed.

I don't know if it was a fence, or maybe a thorn, or even a snake. But after her being so happy & cheerful last night, I hate to see her so depressed.

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