Upstairs downstairs in France
We arrived back safe and sound after an uneventful journey on Friday. All the animals travelled well again, Susie-Belle has taken to this Channel crossing habit very pleasingly and as for Rosie Cat, she couldn’t have told us any more loudly or regularly how much she enjoyed being with us in the car. We were pleased she was pleased.
I’ll put a few more photos up here over the next week or so, the scenery in the region is stunning and we visited a few very picturesque villages to show Susie-Belle France in all its rural finery.But today I think one of the most memorable sights we saw, that we feel the need to share with everyone on Susie-Belle’s blog was Susie-Belle going up and down stairs like a normal dog.
Let me explain, since she came to us she’s always shown reluctance to go up the stairs, it took months before she did and then only at night with a biscuit and ritual which if we deviate from will deter her and she won’t manage it. The staircase is very steep with narrow treads so it is quite daunting, even to some human visitors. She’s only ever come down once and that wasn’t very successful, it was a clatter-fall at best. So I’ve always carried her down, I know she likes a carry and I made it easy for her.
In France we have stairs everywhere, the house is on a hill and the garden is sloped so there are sets of steps down to terraces and up out through the back of the house into the rear courtyard, as well as the rickety wooden staircase to go up to the bedrooms. I thought this would be a good test of whether she can actually manage stairs or whether she just likes her little carry-down in the mornings.
She went up them fine, even during the day if I was up there, something she so far hasn’t done here in the UK. She still refused to come down them though and I made life easy for her and carried her. But then one morning she looked like she was going to try and so I encouraged her, put titbits in front of her, fed Renae smelly dried tripe at the bottom whilst Susie-Belle protested from the top of the stairs, but no, she couldn’t overcome her block with them and so I made it easy for her and carried her down.
Then I came home for 3 days and she was left in the hands of Michel – he said she did the same to him, he gave in, made it easy for her and carried her down. Then, the day I was due back in the evening, he held out a little longer and then he heard the tentative pattering pawsteps of Susie-Belle making her way carefully down the stairs. She did it. And continued to do it every day from then on.
The real test though is here back in the UK. Yesterday I made it easy for her and carried her down. This morning she did the stairs herself, but it was another noisy clatter-fall. Maybe they’re just too steep and tricky for her, maybe I need to make her life easy and carry her down……