shoe-on-ice

Friday, 30 November

It's a law of nature: if you are down, someone else around you will be up.

As readers of my last blog will know, it has not been a great last six weeks for me. For Tasha, on the other hand, it’s been a time of growth and happiness.

A week after our return to Berlin and the day before my illness, I had taken her to stay with Anna, Tasha’s and my trainer-guru, because David and I were supposed to be leaving for a long weekend in Tuscany with friends (from this point of view at least our medical emergencies could not have been better timed).
Anna-lana-ilyas-T
Tasha loves everything about life with Anna. First she adores Anna herself. Who could not? Anna is a burst of sunshine emanating joy and the positive energy she preaches, even while juggling a child, her own dog, veterinary studies and a job at our veterinary clinic. Oh, and in a couple of months she’ll also have her certificate in dog and horse psychology. Tasha gets swept up in this busy life and thrives on it.
T-at-the-beach

Trip to a lake last summer

(photo by Anna)

She loves Anna’s son Ilyas and in turn is loved by him and all the children at his Kita (day care centre). She also loves Anna’s dog Lana, another abandoned dog whose early traumas in Romania make our French dog’s pale in comparison. Tasha even seems to like hanging out at the vet’s office while Anna is working. No barking at other dogs there! In fact with Anna and Lana Tasha does not appear to misbehave ever.
two-peas-in-a-pod

Two angelic peas in a pod

(photo by Anna)

When David went to pick her up after five days, Tasha said hello to him, then went and sat pertly at Anna’s feet, making it clear that that was exactly where she wished to stay. Which vexed both David and me, when he told me. Is that where our monumental efforts have got us? The Princess rejecting her pedestrian life with us?

Fortunately Her Highness quickly settled back into our humdrum existence.
D-and-T-garden
Tasha's general well-being these days may also be related to her finally approaching adulthood. At almost four that makes her 28 in human years, right in line with many of her fellow millennials who are not in any hurry to grow up. Anna reckons that given her early hardship and retarded development, she is now an adolescent. She certainly acts like a teenager. Moody one minute...
moody-T
...the next patiently waiting for her walk...
waiting-door
...the next maddeningly acting like a two-year old and barking at a gardener, who then gives me a lecture on dogs being kept an der Leine...
leaf-blower
...the next being a dog you can safely take out and about, one who is finally showing some intellectual curiosity in the world around her...
T-and-soviet-memorial

The Soviet War Memorial

Despite these fluctuations in temperament the tendency is definitely upwards, towards a more repsonsible, mature canine. Some changes in the daily routine may also have helped. While I was away David moved Tasha's long walk from early morning to mid-day. I tried the new rhythm and what a difference. We pause Zen-ly to watch the day rise over the Spree...
sunrise-spree
...and have a training session, which is good for Tasha's conduct and my concscience. Then around noon we go to the Treptower Park and it's like walking under a different sun. Tasha is less wound up and so are all the other walkers-runners-bikers-dogs who are not on their stressed way to work.
pensive--pond
Why I didn't try this sooner I don't know because the short morning walk, being less of an interruption, has hugely improved the work part of my day. I've actually been quite productive these last weeks.

Laws of nature have an impact and in this case the effect of Tasha being up has been to elevate me, maybe not quite to her level, but to feeling much better about pretty much everything.
benches