Today I was working with my one year old Ridgeback, Wigglestink, on her skateboarding skills. Yes, skateboarding! This is something she desperately wants to do, but needs me to help her with the mechanics & timing & foot placement, and the rest of the details that go into skateboarding. How do I know she wants to skateboard? Well, Wigglestink talks to me. She has talked to me since I first laid eyes on her. She came to me as a foster dog with Ridgeback Rescue. Nine weeks old, big round wormy belly...trouble! I had no intentions of keeping her. I named her Ella, gave her a dewormer and made up a bed for her in one of the office kennels. The next morning, I tried to tune her out as she was demanding to keep me. I'd shake it off and tell her she didn't need me, and I certainly didn't need her. And that's when she started in with the name nonsense. Wigglestink...I kept hearing it in my head. I'm like, "That isn't even a word, let alone a name!" The name Wigglestink echoed still. Then, I looked at her and said it out loud, "Wigglestink"! It not only sounded weird, it felt funny to say. Her eyes met mine. Her whole body was wagging. She licked her nose and finally put into words what we both already knew.
She blinked at me, "I guess I'm keeping you, aren't I?"
"Yes, Wigglestink, I'm all yours," I smiled back.
And so it is... And so she is... And so are we.
So when she tells me that skateboarding is her thing, I guess I need to listen. I don't know the first thing about teaching a dog how to skateboard, but it really isn't about me, is it? I'm sure between the two of us, we'll figure it out.