Friday, July 3, 2009

Changing of the Guard

In the past I have written blog entries about each of the dogs I have ever owned from the first dog I had with my parents - Tara, to Devon and Bailey. I have yet to write a blog entry about Lex. I think the me has come to write about him. This weekend when we headed to the mountains we only brought one pup with us - Lex. Though Bailey is still full of vim and vigor, he has lost much of his strength. The last time we were here I had to save him from falling down a flight of stairs. Had I missed grabbing his collar I am sure he would have broken something going down the stairs. I have noticed a massive change in Lex as he has assumed a much more dominant position in the life of our family. He has begun to learn the wisdom of being an older dog. I clearly noticed that this afternoon when we were out on the trail together. In the past Lex was a spas on the trail. He would run a head as far as he wanted - sometimes getting a 1/4 mile ahead. This would cause me to run at full speed after him. He now understands the basic dynamics of working with his "human" on the trail. He has adopted a great trail technique of running ahead about 50 yards and then immediately looking back to see where I am. If I have slowed or stopped he will come back to me right away. If I am still walking in his direction he will stop and smell something along the side of trail. Once I have caught up with him, he will move ahead again and then wait. Many times he will move ahead and come back immediately to check with me. When we reach a trail junction he will now stay there and wait for my hand signal pointing him which way to go. Once he sees me signal where he should go, he will head in that direction. It is like he has finally learned all of his lessons from Bailey and is now ready to take the lead. Him being alone with us seemed to have brought a new calmness to his soul. This weekend it appears that he has lost much of his puppiness and has replaced with a sense of responsibility to us. A great example of was when we were out walking. We came across 3 people on the trail. In the past, Lex would run up to the people seeking attention and desiring to be petted. Today, he was very standoffish and began to bark. It was like he was taking his role as the "head dog" very seriously and he had to work to protect us. All I can say is I love my pup. He is demonstrating himself to be a strong and capable dog. He is at the height of his physical strength and he is now developing the wisdom of a dog who has lived a lot of life and who has learned the lessons from his mentor. Our day in the mountains was low-key. We didn't take any major hikes as the weather was just too much on the questionable side. There were numerous rain showers that came through area today. We went over to Keystone and did a bunch of things there and then grabbed some lunch at the Kick-a-Poo tavern. After that we went over Swan Mountain Road and stopped and climbed around Sapphire Point. The rain started to fall then so we came back to the condo. I ended up taking a two hour nap which was fantastic! We hope everyone has a great 4th of July tomorrow! Thanks and peace to all! - J.

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