Silas’s third birthday passed this weekend without a lot of fanfare. As you can probably tell by my very sporadic blogging, things have not been super-shiny-happy here lately. It’s not that things are bad. If anything, it’s something of the opposite–we’ve settled into a very pleasant, but very boring and very secluded routine. His birthday made me a little sad, because I feel some kind of finality that he’s really, truly an adult now, and I can’t expect him to just “grow out of it” anymore.
On the other hand, we finally got to take down the baby gate in our bathroom, and this week I learned that I can have throw pillows on my sofa again. As long as I’m willing to share, that is:
Silas has been happily taking his very short sidewalk walks, which you can see here if you don’t mind truly execrable video-while-walking:
His ears are mostly back, but in a fairly neutral way (the closer they are together on the back of his head, the more freaked out he is). You can tell that he’s checking over his shoulder a lot, but he’s also able to stop to sniff the bushes. I get very excited at the end of the video, because he walks past the gate to sniff the bush on the far side. That means he did not frantically dart under the gate, and he didn’t try to drag me the last few steps. This is pretty typical for these outings, plus 20 seconds or so at the beginning while I got the camera set up. When I say little walks, I mean it. On a usual day we walk around between the townhouse buildings for a few more minutes once we’re done.
That is, alas, the only way I’m able to get him out of the house. Smart Silas has progressed to the point that he will happily get in my car as long as I have absolutely no walking apparatus. No bag, no car keys, no harness. If my husband is home, the two of us can cajole him in, but I hate to undo my happy-counterconditioning by pressuring him about the car too often. We get his exercise by playing upstairs-downstairs fetch over our loft railing. He loves the park once we’re there–I just can’t get him to connect the pieces.
I’m really uncomfortable with our very small life, because I know that Silas doesn’t benefit from it in the long run, but everybody’s happy for now. When there’s no pressure from the outside world, Silas is officially the world’s sweetest, smartest dog, so we get by.
Which circles back around to my fairly radical drop in blog posts–it’s times like this that I have to dial down my over-investment in his life. If I work too hard at being the best dog-person ever, I get really frustrated when he doesn’t make more progress. If I think about nothing but my dog all day, surely my dog could get his act together? Alas, that isn’t how it works. I’m trying to pop in a few times a week; I can’t promise more than that.