'Cause this morning I saw the damndest thing...
I may've mentioned that Dakota isn't fond of stairs. Short flights she can manage, but often has a hard time figuring out where to place her hind feet. If she doesn't hit the stairs at a run, she'll do this kind of 'shuffle step' with her hind feet until she figures out what to do with them - Kinda like watching a clumsy novice dancer trying to figure out the first movement in a dance. Eventually, though, she figures it out, and comes up the steps. If, however, she's at a run, she flows right up the steps like they weren't even there - I think it's that she's already in-motion, and isn't thinking about what she's doing. Again, like our novice dancer; once he gets moving, he's OK.
But the long flight of stairs up to the second floor? I *know* she can negotiate them, as I've been woken by a paw the size of my palm smacking me in the face. Or I'll be sitting on one side of the bed, and out of the corner of my eye I'll see a stealthy shape glide past the other side, and I do a double-take to see Dakota sneaking into my son's room (She likes his bed to lay upon). But usually, she stays downstairs. And she never goes upstairs when I or Jenn are watching. Ian reported that she goes upstairs backwards, and whilst I believed him, I couldn't, for the life of me, picture how that worked.
This morning, though, I finally saw what she does. And it is indeed backwards. Sitting in my easy chair, I looked over to see Dakota standing on the stairs, looking upwards longingly. She left her front paws about four steps up, and walked her hind paws up to the same tread, and stood there, sideways. Then she sat down. On the fifth tread. The she stepped her front paws up to the fifth tread, and stood up. Completely on the fifth tread. Then sat down. On the sixth tread...
Back and forth, sitting down, moving her front paws, standing up, sitting down... Up and up she worked until out of sight. Astonishing!
Then I heard the squeak of surprise from my wife and the sound of the headboard slamming into the wall.... Dakota had clearly just bounded up on the bed and woken her. Seconds later, Dakota came launching down the stairs, in the more traditional headlong manner, big ol' doggie grin on her face, and my wife flying after with vengance in her eye - Until she saw me laughing my butt off. Then *I* was the target of her ire!
What posssesed her to learn this method? I dunno. How did she learn this method..? I dunno. But she's a smarty, and I don't doubt she put those brains in gear until she found a way that didn't involve the hindfoot shuffle - Like our clumsy dancer inventing a step that only he knew... One that didn't make him feel clumsy any more.