I’m a big fan of Oliver Sacks and when I was watching Fric and BeeBee tear around the yard, I couldn’t help but think of his book, A Leg to Stand On. In it he describes how people who have lost function of a limb may use it normally if placed in conditions that cause them to forget that they can’t do so. When BeeBee walks slowly her gait is half-way between the come-hither woozy swing of an inebriated street-walker and a dog who really has to go but doesn’t want to go just yet. There’s no doubt she has a problem.
But when she and Frica start playing all that changes. True, if you saw BeeBee rolling across the lawn like a sausage with a pointy nose after Fric body slammed her, you might think she was rather graceless. But when she reciprocates with a dead-on slam that reduces Fric to a shaggy bowling ball, such thoughts immediately disappear. When BeeBee starts chasing Fric, the faster she goes, the harder it is to discern anything different about her gait at all.
Why does this happen? I have no idea. Perhaps her increased speed causes so many neurons to fire she reaches some internal cerebellar tipping point and at least for that brief interval her brain communicates, “You’re normal.”
Or maybe the sheer joy of charging through the fallen leaves with a willing playmate makes her so focused on what she wants to do–play–that there just isn’t any room left in her brain for what she can’t.