June 23rd, 2015
Sunday was “the day” for Bailey to get a taste of real freedom in the outdoor world. I am talking about the world beyond our yard. Up until Sunday afternoon, Bailey’s outside excursions have always involved a leash or one of the two long cables set up in the front and back of our house. She is always supervised because of the wildlife such as wolves and bears that live in the surrounding forest. It is not unusual to have sightings on a regular basis. Since our area has already had a few rabies incidents originating from the local fox population, dog owners need to be constantly vigilant. Bailey has only roamed free without any restraints inside the house and garage. Every dog owner faces that moment when it is decided to let the puppy go off leash. In our case, I was not present to see her first taste of freedom. I heard the news after the event from my oldest son and husband who were quite pleased with themselves and Bailey.
The two of them had taken Bailey out for her evening walk. Somehow, their stroll through the playground ended up in the adjacent baseball field. The field is kept up even though it gets very little use. The three entry points are easy to secure – perfect to keep an energetic puppy from accessing too much freedom. I had been scouting the location for a few weeks as a possible spot to liberate Bailey. I just was not ready yet. Was I a helicopter mom in need of help? My husband and son thought so.
Bailey was familiar with the place as we had walked her around the fencing (but always on the leash). After they checked that the gates were closed, Bailey was unclipped from her leash and her special rope was thrown. She did not realize this freedom until she was a distance away from them. Then, she got a case of the zoomies – a Newf Net Forum term used when a dog races around like it is chasing an invisible rabbit. Think of Bailey at her top speed (not often seen by us). The zoomies only lasted for a few seconds before Bailey got refocused on retrieving her rope. After ten rope fetches, Bailey was showing signs of slowing down. My husband thought it best to end the session on a good note and called to her. Bailey returned with her rope and stood patiently as her leash was attached. The two proud owners arrived home with a contented puppy. I realized that no harm was done and taking that leap of faith in our loved one is often rewarded. Bailey has made an important step towards discovering her full potential.
P.S. At 21 weeks, Bailey is now 28.4 kg or 62 pounds 10 ounces.