Sunday, July 23, 2017

Back in the Saddle

It may be too soon to get excited, but Charlie went hiking this weekend! This is progress. The combination of patience, giving her a break to just chill at home, getting reiki treatments and slowly building up her courage by taking very early morning walks when the neighborhood is quiet have finally gotten us to the point where she actually wanted to go hiking again.

All of the above, combined with the presence of my new boyfriend (whom Charlie adores), made it possible for her to feel safe and to enjoy a day in the woods.

At first, we were going to go hiking without her, but then I decided to ask her if she wanted to go and see how she would respond. Previously, she would go in the other room and lay down if I asked her to go hiking, but yesterday she stood up tall, wagged her tail and barked enthusiastically!

So we brought her along and went to a new trail in hopes that she wouldn't associate any negative memories like she's been doing on other trails we're familiar with. At first, she didn't want to get out of the car, but after giving her a few treats and encouraging her, she jumped out and led the way down the trail.

Once she got going, it was like the old Charlie came back to life! She took off down the trail bravely and when we got to the river, she jumped in and started exploring for sticks to play with. I was so happy to see her so happy. It was just like the old days.

The day was warm and humid and the forest was alive with earthy smells and the soothing sound of the small river flowing. Charlie ran the trail, played in the water and had a great day. I was so proud of her.

When we got home, she completely crashed into a tranquil snooze and looked so peaceful. I basked in the glory of her joy and couldn't help but smile while watching her sleep. It was a good day.