Little Libby went for her first walk a couple of days ago. No, let me rephrase that…she went for her first combination walk and carry. Allow me to elaborate.
It was a beautiful Friday afternoon and I decided it would be good to take a walk up to the drugstore to pick up my prescriptions. The drugstore is only about a half a mile away so it sounded like a good idea. Then I got the even brighter idea to take a pup along for the walk. I chose Libby. That is when the bright idea began to fade…rapidly.
Due to Libby’s harsh first few weeks in this world, she is still afraid of things outside of her comfort zone. The comfort zone includes her home and her backyard…that’s about it. When she’s in the zone, she’s happy-go-lucky and prances with the best of them. When she steps outside of the realm of perceived safety, she “pancakes”. Picture a puppy flattening itself as close to the ground as she can get and refusing to budge…“pancake”. Add to that an uncontrollable shaking and even the Grinch would be moved to sentiment.
The first “pancake” episode occurred as we left the front yard for the street. A tiny bit of coaxing and we were back on our way. Suddenly, a large metallic monster rounded the corner and panic set in…“pancake”. My neighbor was driving the monster (Ford Taurus) and, upon seeing Libby’s reaction, slowed to a near crawl and coasted to his driveway. God bless that man. The danger had passed and Libby once again decided to go forward.
Want to know what happened next? Click here
This forward motion lasted about thirty feet at which point she just stopped. The look on her little face told me that nothing about this place was familiar and the chances of her continuing were slim to none. I thought that maybe if I held her close to me and carried her for just a short distance then she would feel a little more secure.
Now get this picture in your mind – Mom is sort of walking the pup and praising her with every step…Mom is trying to scoop the “pancake” off the ground…Mom is carrying the pup…Mom puts the pup back down…Mom gets about two feet further…“pancake”…Mom picks the pup back up. Are you getting the picture here? This had to look hilarious to my neighbors. Anyway, this finely choreographed routine continues ALL. THE. WAY. TO. THE. DRUGSTORE. Yep, that half-mile walk? Took almost an hour.
I did keep my cool and made sure not to get too aggravated with the baby since I know where her fear comes from and it is most definitely legitimate. The good part to all of this is that she finally recognized that we were heading back in the direction we came and she made it all the way home under her own power! She even managed a little bit of prancing! We did have a couple of “pancake” moments when cars passed by us a little too fast but she recovered nicely and continued homeward bound.
I’m so proud of this milestone in my little one’s life. Of course, I do understand that this is something I am going to have to continue doing so she can get used to the idea of leaving her comfort zone and surviving the excursion. My baby is growing up. Sigh.