In the Marking Our Territory circus, Penny was my tumbling acrobat while Eko was my soaring aerialist. I loved capturing his casual grace mid-air. From the nonchalant takeoff through the smooth landings, Eko made his flights look effortless.
As a young upstart, Penny wanted to follow her big brother into the air. But given her propensity for causing mayhem I trained Penny to wait for me to pick her up over the fence. These days, the air above the beach fence is one of many empty spaces reminding me of Eko. My heart soared with Eko, and it plummeted without him. My challenge over the past months has been salvaging the scrap metal of that crash, building new wings, and discovering the courage to lift off again. It seemed only fitting then that Penny and I learn to fly together.
Last week I unleashed Penny just outside the fence at the dog beach. But instead of lifting her over as I normally do, I stepped over alone and walked a couple yards towards the water. The whining started almost immediately. Penny paced along the fence in earnest, begging me to pick her up. She’d go as far as placing her front paws up, but she wouldn’t jump over. Like me, my wild and fearless Penny was still bounded by the past.
I climbed back over to show her how it’s done. We backed up a couple yards, we sprinted towards the fence together, I hopped over alone. Penny pulled up short, but when I turned around with my camera I saw the light bulb go off in her head.
“Wait, he’s going to let me to jump over!?”
Penny backed up, galloped towards the fence and flew!
Well, she less flew over and more threw herself over
I burst out laughing and gave my girl plenty of praise. We began bounding back and forth across the divider in a game of aerial tag. What Penny lacks in Eko’s grace she more than makes up for with enthusiasm.
Penny does not have a future in Olympic diving
Since that first day we’ve practiced jumping at each beach visit and I’m happy to report Penny’s form is improving.
Rocketship Penny is now much more aerodynamic
She’s figured out how to tuck those back legs and really glide
My puppy rises, and so too does my heart
So we rise. Unsteady and ungraceful on these new wings, but grateful for the opportunity to fly again.