Barley and I went on a little adventure this weekend--we'll have more details on that on Friday, but there was definitely mischief taking place. There was a little donkey at our adventure destination. My sister loves donkeys, so we had to stop to take a picture. I wasn't sure how Barley would feel about the donkey--or the horse it was sharing a space with--so we started out at a distance and I just snapped a quick picture to text to my sister.
Barley seemed ok with both of the animals since they were far away, so we moved a little closer so I could get her and the donkey in the picture together.
|Of course, the one picture where she wasn't looking at other dogs, she was sticking out her tongue.|
She seemed fine. There were four large, gorgeous newfoundlands nearby that she wanted to look at instead of the camera, but she wasn't bothered by the donkey or the horse. I'm not even sure she noticed them.
I was trying to pay attention to the movements of the other dogs, so I was just holding down the button on my phone to take burst photos and hoping we'd get one where she was looking at the camera and the donkey was visible, so we could send it to her Aunt L.
All of the sudden, I noticed something was creeping up behind Barley. As you can see from the tight leash in the next picture, I jumped back. When I was really little, I was visiting a Christmas tree farm and watching sheep and an emu came up and reached over the fence and pecked me. While I love most birds, I've been terrified of emus ever since.
When I got started, Barley turned her head and when she what was behind her she had no idea what to do.
For a minute, there was a staring contest and I was trying to find words to call Barley back to my side and give her a little more space. Then Barley barked once and ran right back to me. Barley generally hates birds--swallows swooping cause her to flatten herself on the ground, seagulls at the lake cause her to hide behind me--but I'm not even sure she knew what this thing was. She just knew that it was not something she was interested in visiting with.
She recovered quickly and was ready for the next stop on our adventure. I was so proud of her! I wish I'd been able to help her avoid the reaction all together, but I was managing my own freakout at the thought of that bird reaching through the fence and pecking my baby girl like I'd experienced myself all those years ago and found myself unable to actually form any real words. In the end, Barley learned that it's ok to say, "I'm not ok with this," and then to walk away--and the best kind of mischief is the kind that you can learn from.