BeeBee Update

I’ve gotten way behind thanks to the holidays and weather, but did want to update everyone on what BeeBee’s been up to. She continues to grow longer and remains very svelte. When I carry her up and down the stairs, sometimes she drapes over my arm like Feron, the cat belonging to the Little Red-Haired Girl (I think) in the “Peanuts” comic strip. In a way, it’s easier to carry her that way than when she’s more upright and liable to swing her head around at any time. Carrying such a dog multiple times a day is also a good way to reduce underarm fat.

I continue working on the stairs with her, but can’t say one way or another whether she’ll ever be able to handle them. She readily–and only–leads with her left front paw (which is on her more developed side), but can’t seem to get the rest of her legs coordinated enough to propel herself upward on her own.  I’m sure part of the problem is that much of canine location up and down stairs is based on momentum and it’s difficult to come up with a way to ensure this that wouldn’t force her to do something she’s not ready to do (by putting a leash on her and dragging her up or down) or would jeopardize her safety.

The left side of her jaw is longer than her right and she has more control over the left side of her tongue than her right. That, coupled with her incredibly developed sense of smell (to compensate for her deafness and visual limitations) continues to cause her to go after food aggressively. By “aggressively,” I don’t mean that she’s trying to keep me–or anyone except the other dogs–away from her food. She’s not. It’s just that the combination of her enhanced sense of smell and the exaggerated head and tongue movements she has to use to scoop up food can look scary if you don’t understand what’s going on. I suspect, or at least hope, that her exaggerated response to the scent of food will wane as she matures, but I’m not so sure about the amount of energy needed to fuel the mechanical process of eating. If she depends on a certain momentum to successfully scoop up the food, trying to slow her down might be as counterproductive as asking a pole vaulter to walk up to the bar before jumping.

On the other hand, that she can do something this complex when she can build sufficient momentum into the process might bode well for her mastering the steps.