Every now and then Ripple does something that reminds me of what an awesome dog she really is. Usually, this happens when no one else is around to see it. So, I was oh-so tickled when, on an otherwise ordinary evening, both Mike and myself were witnesses to a good-Ripple moment.
It happened in the loft.
I was in my office, which is in our loft, writing a report for work. The cats were on our bed (they sleep like 18 hours a day, so they’re pretty much fixtures on the California King) and the dogs were rough housing near our clutter of ancient gym equipment on the other side of the loft. Mike slid out the Roman chair from the gym, dusted it off, and sat on it, arching all the way back so that his head almost touched the carpet.
“What are you doing?” I asked, thinking he was about to pull an abdominal muscle.
“Stretching my stomach,” he said.
His back had been bothering him. That’s why he was stretching his stomach /:
I decided to teach Mike some safe back exercises.
Not that I’m an expert, but I have worked out to the same Karen Voight’s Pilate Abs and Back routine twice a week for about thirty years. So, I offered to show Mike some back postures that might help his back. It required that we spend a little time on the floor. Anticipating that Cassidy and Ripple would be all over us once we were on their level, I put them in our bedroom – which is an open area that connects to the loft – and told them to lay down, and to stay.
Then I Forgot about them
As Mike and I went through a few exercises, Pebbles decided to jump down from the bed and show off by doing cat-stretch at our feet. Then, while Mike was doing plank pose, the little gray tiger took the ride down while laying on his back. After that he rolled around on the floor in between us, while Mike and I jabbered about how cute he was. The dogs did well staying throughout the interaction, which was good.
But Mike got a call.
So, I returned to working on my computer, while Mike sat on the step outside our bedroom and chatted with whoever was on the other end of the phone line. When I glanced back, Cassidy was there too, wagging her tail and nose-butting Mike. It took me a second to remember that I had put her on a stay not five minutes earlier. I figured Ripple had broken the stay as well, and that she’d snuck downstairs without me noticing.
This was of no surprise, as Cassidy was still a pup with poor impulse control, and Ripple’s unofficial nickname was Poor-Impulse Control. (Her official nickname was The Tornado.) It was one of the things we’d continued to work on with her. We’ve done a great deal of obedience work with her too over the years – she’s nearly three – and she knows all the commands. She just doesn’t always listen.
Ripple deserved more credit
When Mike finally finished his call, we did the last few exercises in the routine. Then I shut down my computer. I was intending to bring the dogs through a few practice repetitions of down and release. This is what we were told to do when one of our dogs breaks stay. But then I heard Mike say the word, “Released.” I was surprised. I wondered if he was having a senior moment, so sure was I that Ripple had gotten up and gone down stairs. But she hadn’t. Even though Cassidy was walking around in front of her, Ripple had remained on the down-stay. Which just proves what I said in the first place. Ripple is an awesome dog!