Because we moved our furry family from Florida to Alaska, and only one of them has a nice thick coat (Charlie the collie), we got little coats for our short haired black labs, whom we fondly refer to as ‘the girls’. This is because they are, in fact, girls. Nala and Layla are their names, but they’re often in cahoots so it’s much easier to say, “Girls, no!” than it is to say, “Nala NO! Layla No! Stop that right now!” See what I mean?
|The gymnast in her coat.|
Anywho, it’s now late November–quite nearly December- and in Alaska, we already have lots of snow. The snow plows have created little snow-mountains in parking lots. Since we live in a four-plex, or an apartment building with no soundproofing and four apartments, we have a little parking lot area. The perimeter of this area is now encased with a wall of snow about three feet high, higher/lower in some places than others. Of course Nala, our 45 pound black lab mountain goat– I mean, dog– loves to scale these snow plow mounds. I used to think she was just playing, but now I see that’s her tumbling routine for the floor exercise.
I didn’t always know she was a doggy gymnast. I mean, she’s always been goofy and rambunctious (when she’s not passed out), but I assumed she spent most of her day upside down because she was too lazy to move, not because she was conditioning herself for gymnastics. Clearly, I was wrong.
It all started yesterday. Being bored and not wanting to go sledding alone, I decided to start watching a new T.V. show on Netflix instant. I chose ABC Family’s “Make it or Break it”, about gymnasts. Well, Nala clearly loves the show. She laid by my side, upside down (of course) and twisted like a pretzel, throughout two episodes. After the end of episode two, I realized it was time for a puppy walk. Of course, the presence of snow and the time of year mean that our pups must wear their little coats. Nala was standing on the couch, very excited as I got her coat out and walked toward her. I was about to put it on her when she jumped off the couch, ran in circles and then jumped back on the couch within four seconds. I fastened the front and belly velcro as she stood with her front paws on the arm of the couch and her back paws on the cushion. All of the sudden, Nala was doing a paw-stand between me and the couch. Her front paws were on the floor, her head was pointed down, and her back paws were– in the air. Then she righted herself and ran to the door.
|Our future Olympian gymnast, looking guilty.|
This paw-stand has made me look at Nala in a whole new light. She always lays twisted in odd positions; I thought it was because she was too lazy to move or perhaps she was working on becoming a contortionist. Apparently, she was working on improving her flexibility for her doggy gymnastics career. She regularly lays with her head upside down, hanging off the couch.
I thought I had a lazy weirdo for a dog, but apparently I have the world’s premier doggy gymnast. Who knew?! Hmm… Perhaps Pedigree will be her sponsor!