Pausing for Paws

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This morning as Miller and I walked I was reminded of Beverly Cleary’s Ribsy, one of my childhood book loves. Somewhere in the lines about Henry Huggins’ scruffy mutt was a description of his nails clickety clacking on the floor. It was one of Ribsy’s characteristics in more than one of the novels, if I remember correctly. Miller was clickety clacking this morning as we walked finally sunny sidewalks on our early outing.

Miller has great paws. The front ones are larger than the back ones and look like platters in comparison to the back. He often stands with them at second position, so I tell him he has plie paws. What does he care what I say about his paws if I’m holding a toy?

When we went out this morning, the sun was new and our shadows clear. The streets were quiet given the hour. It was beautiful. I was relaxed, he was relaxed. We walked and played and I decided to go up and through a big park that’s not too far away.

By the time we reached home and he was on his mat to wait for breakfast, his feet smelled like earth and were wet from the dew.  He’s sensitive about his paws being touched, but It is so heartening to see the changes in him. We’ve gone from him* not being able to tolerate having a paw touched to being able to bear them being filed. Sometimes it’s one, sometimes two, depending on what his face and body says.

This morning I got three nails filed and didn’t have a stressed dog. He was relaxed in his eyes and mouth and keen for breakfast. That’s a good day.


*Note: I’m not a certified dog trainer, just passionate about the best outcomes for dogs. If your dog needs support beyond your own skill level, please choose a certified trainer.


Image: Mr. Plie Paws

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